Artists and fans of all stripes continue to show their support for Kesha following her failed attempt to be freed from her record contract with producer Dr. Luke, who she alleges sexually assaulted her — a claim he has denied. The latest of these celebs to make a public declaration of their #FreeKesha encouragement is Lena Dunham. The Girls showrunner penned a letter in support of Kesha for Lenny, Dunham’s personal newsletter.
In a letter titled “Why Kesha’s Case Is About More Than Just Kesha,” Dunham criticizes New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich for her decision to not grant Kesha the injunction, before ultimately placing it in the larger context of the justice system’s failure to protect women who have been abused.
She compares the judge’s reasoning — that Kesha is free to record without Dr. Luke physically present even if the music will still belong to his label — to living in a house that is owned and controlled by someone who has abused you.
“So let me spell it out for them. Imagine someone really hurt you, physically and emotionally. Scared you and abused you, threatened your family. The judge says that you don’t have to see them again, BUT they still own your house. So they can decide when to turn the heat on and off, whether they’ll pay the telephone bill or fix the roof when it leaks. After everything you’ve been through, do you feel safe living in that house? Do you trust them to protect you?
That explanation is really for the judge, Shirley Kornreich, who questioned why — if they could be physically separated as Sony has promised — Kesha could not continue to work for Gottwald. After all, she said, it’s not appropriate to ‘decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated.’ Guess what else is heavily negotiated? The human contract that says we will not hurt one another physically and emotionally. In fact, it’s so obvious that we usually don’t add it to our corporate documents.”
Dunham goes on to point out other ways that the American legal system fails to protect women from their abusers before showing that there is hope for change, largely due to high-profile cases like Kesha’s. Dunham says that Kesha’s willingness to come forward with her alleged abuse will give others the strength to do the same.
“We are not scared anymore of losing what we worked for, of being branded hysterical or difficult, of being targeted and silenced by men in power. The women in the music industry speaking out for Kesha are proof. And their words will reverberate, inspiring the young women watching them for clues about the good life to speak up too. Soon, no one will accept shame and fear as the status quo. And so, while Kesha is indefinitely silenced, her voice has never been louder.”