Forceful words like “fired” aren’t quite accurate when it comes to the news, detailed in The Hollywood Reporter, that Sony is ending its working relationship with Dr. Luke (a.k.a. Lukasz Gottwald), the record producer whom Kesha has accused of years of sexual and psychological abuse while she was under contract with him. A gentle verb like “let go” or “release” would be more accurate, as we’ve known since last year that Sony would more than likely decline to renew Dr. Luke’s contract when it expired at the end of March 2017. And that’s what the company has done, quietly taking down Dr. Luke’s page on the Sony website and removing him as CEO of his Kemosabe Records imprint, which he co-founded with Sony in 2011.
But the split is reportedly less than definitive, with The Hollywood Reporter’s anonymous sources contradicting each other on whether or not Sony is actually negotiating Dr. Luke’s exit. Meanwhile, a report in Variety says that Sony’s production contracts with Dr. Luke are still in place, meaning that this is more of a demotion than an outright firing. And this new arrangement could actually be worse for Kesha, who has indicated her concern in previous court filings about what would happen when she no longer had Sony as a buffer between her and Dr. Luke. In other words, everything about this situation is still fucking awful, and will likely remain as such—especially as courts continue to block Kesha’s attempts to be released from her contract.