doing something unholy

Kim Petras Has ‘Nothing to Say or Be Ashamed of’ About Dr. Luke Collabs

Kim Petras Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Kim Petras has been playing defense as much as the U.S. in the World Cup lately. After defending herself for talking over a Rina Sawayama concert (with her old friend Barbie Ferreira), Petras decided November 27 was the time to resurface critiques over her work with Dr. Luke. It started with Petras tweeting, seemingly unprompted, “get talented or good at anything then talk to me.” (Credit that confidence to her first No. 1, “Unholy,” with Sam Smith.) A fan replied, “stop defending dr luke first then.” Luke, the super-producer born Lukasz Gottwald, was notoriously accused of sexual abuse by Kesha in 2014; he has denied the allegations and is suing her for defamation in a case set for trial next year. Petras, who began her career with Luke’s publishing company, Prescription Songs, took the bait, responding, “5000000 ppl work with him why y’all only coming at me . I have nothing to say or be ashamed of at all . go away.” (Petras since deleted her tweets.)

Petras has faced criticism for her work with Dr. Luke since at least 2018, when the trans performer opened for gay pop singer-songwriter Troye Sivan. Back then, Petras told NME she had “a really good experience” working with Luke and would “totally” do it again, adding, “I would like my fans to know I wouldn’t work with somebody I believe to be an abuser of women.” She later tweeted that her positive experience with Luke “does not negate or dismiss the experiences of others or suggest that multiple perspectives cannot exist at once.” In 2021, after she released multiple projects with Luke and signed to his Republic Records imprint, Amigo, Petras told BuzzFeed News she felt she was “held to a different standard than other artists” with regard to their collaboration.

Except, well … Doja Cat, also signed to Prescription, has long been criticized by fans over their collaborations. Last year, she told Rolling Stone, “I don’t think I need to work with him again.” She also implied Luke was unfairly credited for contributions to her music he hadn’t made before taking that claim back through a representative. And Nicki Minaj faced attacks for returning to her former collaborator this year, including on her No. 1 single “Super Freaky Girl.” Yet before her recent comments, Petras appeared to be following Doja’s steps and distancing herself from Luke. He didn’t touch “Unholy,” her most successful song, or its follow-up, the Max Martin–produced “If Jesus Was a Rockstar” — which Petras credited to Republic co-president Wendy Goldstein, who “really pushed” her to work with new collaborators, the artist said in an interview with i-D. Seems like that post-Luke future hasn’t quite started yet.

Kim Petras Has ‘Nothing to Say’ About Dr. Luke Collabs