FERGUSON: The protesters are young, mostly in their early twenties, some covered in glitter. They carry posters that say things like Sony supports rape. Or, Kesha deserves freedom. Some of the signs are handmade. Lori Belovin’s is by far the most ornate.
FERGUSON: It’s very involved. How long did it take you to make this?
Uh, all night. I started at like, 11 o’clock last night, and I haven’t slept.
FERGUSON: Oh, wow.
FERGUSON: An all-nighter on a protest poster might seem a bit excessive, but Kesha’s case has mobilized her fans. Last Friday, a New York City court ruled that the singer will not be released from her contract with Sony amid a lawsuit that claims her producer, industry power player Dr. Luke, drugged and physically and sexually assaulted her.
In the wake of the ruling, many musicians, like Adele, publicly declared their support for the singer this week, while chart topper Taylor Swift went even further: donating a quarter of a million dollars to Kesha’s legal efforts. Today, the supporters outside Sony are mostly long time fans of the singer, like Artie Davis.
DAVIS: I’ve been a fan of Kesha since about 2009, 2010, and right now, we’re here to set her free hopefully, get her out of a destructive working environment.
FERGUSON: Sean Flynn is also a fan. And he’s especially bothered by the way the court and Sony have treated Kesha–as their legal possession, not as a woman being forced to worked alongside her alleged abuser. (0:10)
FLYNN: It’s messed up that they treat her like a stock portfolio. You know, they talk about their investment in her. She’s more than that. She’s a human being, and she deserves respect, and it’s really that simple. (0:09)
FERGUSON 4: But the protest didn’t just attract the singer’s fans. (0:04)
FERGUSON: So are you a fan of Kesha?
LOSCH: So…I would probably not have been able to name a Kesha song before last week. (0:07)
FERGUSON: Jessie Losch, a teacher and actress who works with young girls, wants to send a message to her students.
LOSCH: The girls that I work with, we’re talking about empowerment and ownership, and for me, she’s a woman representing all of us, and sometimes when our voices are silent, we need everyone else to stand up and be a voice for us.
FERGUSON: But however well intentioned the protest in front of the Sony building, Kesha’s future looks muddled at best. Cassandra Spangler, a music attorney, said that given the few, unappealing legal options that remain–appeal, record with Dr. Luke, or don’t record at all–enough public pressure might force Sony’s hand.
SPANGLER: I think if there’s enough of a public outcry, Sony might say, well, you know, it’s in our best interest to sort of try to take care of this in a way that makes the public happy.
FERGUSON: And the noise from fans and celebrities alike might make a difference there.
SPANGLER: You have a lot of fans speaking out and you also have a lot of other female artists who have stepped up since this has happened to show support for her.
FERGUSON: Only time will tell if all these protests will put enough pressure on Sony, but for now the battle for hearts and minds wages on. Katie Ferguson, Columbia Radio News.