Update 3/9, 4:45 p.m.: According to TMZ, Dr. Luke's team denies that Sony is planning on dropping him. "Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony," his lawyer said. "His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony, and this has never come up."
Original story 3/9, 3:00 p.m.: TheWrap reports that Sony Music "is expected to end its working relationship" with Dr. Luke a year before his contract is set to expire. The report, which is based on unnamed sources, comes nearly a month after a judge ruled against Kesha's request for a temporary injunction, which would have allowed her to record music outside of her contract with Dr. Luke, a producer she claims sexually and emotionally abused her. When reached out to for a response, a representative for Sony Music declined to comment.
According to TheWrap, insiders say that keeping Dr. Luke (Lukasz Gottwald) employed has become a public-relations nightmare for Sony. Celebrities like Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Adele have all spoken out in support of Kesha and against Gottwald, who's claimed he never abused Kesha. "Kesha has no case in regards to her contract but they can't afford the Adeles of the world out in the streets calling the label unsupportive," a source told TheWrap. "The fact that this hasn't already been taken care of with Luke is confusing, especially for people in the building."
Gottwald's contract is set to expire in 2017, and breaking with the label would be a complicated corporate move. His label, Kemosabe Records, features many artists who are cosigned with him and with a separate division of Sony; Kesha's status, for one, would definitely still be unclear. Plus, Gottwald has not been convicted of any crime, which means there may be no direct reason Sony can cite to break the contract. In the meantime, Kesha supporters are planning another rally at Sony's New York City headquarters to deliver a petition with 411,000 signatures to free the singer from her deal.
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