April 8, 2016


Dr. Luke's Kemosabe Records to 'Downsize' Staff, Issues Layoffs

Allen Berezovsky/WireImage
Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

Kemosabe Records, the label founded by Dr. Luke, is laying off staff, but claims that plans to "downsize" the company have nothing to do with the producer's controversial legal battle with Kesha. A representative from Sony, which owns Kemosabe, told Pitchfork on Wednesday (April 7) that "Kemosabe Records and Sony elected to downsize certain departments," adding that "some of those functions will be handled by Sony as part of their joint venture relationship."

The spokesperson said that despite imminent firings, "Kemosabe continues to be fully operational and is excited about its current releases and the upcoming year." Trimming the staff at Sony and Kemosabe has nothing to do with Dr. Luke's legal entanglement with Kesha, the representative said. 

In February, Kesha lost an injunction against Dr. Luke after alleging in a 2014 lawsuit that he raped and emotionally abused her. The legal battle has been something of a flashpoint in the pop-culture world: Music stars have rallied around Kesha, while her fans have urged support, demonstrating outside of Sony's New York City headquarters and posting to social media with the #FreeKesha hashtag. Last week, the singer revealed she was offered an escape route from her contract with Luke—whose real name is Lukasz Gottwald—if she offered a public apology for her accusations, but refused to comply. 

Kesha has sworn off the prospect of working with Luke again, and on Wednesday (April 6) her case against Sony was dismissed by a New York City judge.