Fiona Apple has discussed the 2021 Grammys nomination for Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald in a new interview with The Guardian.
Gottwald is nominated for Record of The Year for his work on Doja Cat's "Say So" under the name Tyson Trax. In 2014, pop artist Kesha accused Gottwald in a civil suit of “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [her] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life.” Gottwald has denied these charges and countersued Kesha and her mother for defamation. Kesha's case was dismissed in 2016.
The nomination of Gottwald, Apple says, is especially concerning given that Kesha performed "Praying," a song allegedly about her experiences with Gottwald, at the 2018 Grammys. “I keep going back to them putting Kesha on stage like, 'We believe you'—and I believe her—then two years later, fucking Tyson Trax. Not to go back to that word, but it’s bullshit."
Apple is nominated for Best Rock Performance at the 2021 Grammys, a category in which only women musicians have been nominated this year. She continued: "I don’t know if anybody who’s nominated can help having the thought: What would I do If I won? My vision was that I would just get up there with a sledgehammer and I wouldn’t say anything, I would take the Grammy and smash it into enough pieces to share and I would invite all the ladies up. My second thought was I wonder if I can get all these ladies to boycott this shit because of Dr Luke."
Apple also called attention to Deborah Dugan, the former Recording Academy was fired in early 2020 following a misconduct investigation; Dugan went on to accuse the Recording Academy of corruption and sexual misconduct. "I’m waiting to hear more about what Deborah Dugan has to say," Apple said, "because that all reeks to me. When you hire somebody and they raise questions and then they get fired? There’s a lot of things that she brought up that make it so that I can’t vet that situation and I don’t really wanna go there and support it."
The FADER has reached out to the Recording Academy for more information.