Winner and loser of the week in pop culture: Julia Roberts pulls an empowering Cinderella and the Kesha-Dr. Luke battle rages
Julia Roberts. Several normal-sized steps for Julia Roberts, one giant leap for women at Cannes.
Wearing an off-the-shoulder Armani Privé gown and a pair of towering platform pumps, the stunning and talented Money Monster star stepped foot onto the red carpet at the celebrated film festival for the very first time last week.
“I’m a late bloomer,” she told InStyle of her Cannes debut, adding, “Have you ever watched it on television? It looks terrifying. … I’ve kind of avoided it. … It seems like you have to walk a very long distance and then a lot of stairs.”
What she did next was a subtle protest against Cannes’ infamous dress code, which last year required that all women attending red carpet screenings wear heels. The rule was widely criticized, especially by older and disabled guests who were initially denied entry because of their footwear.
This year, Roberts slipped out of her heels before climbing the famed Palais stairs. It was a statement, no doubt, a rebellious fist bump to women everywhere.
Has Julia Roberts ever not been the best?
Dr. Luke. The producer, whom Kesha has accused of mental and sexual abuse, reversed course twice on whether the singer would be allowed to perform at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday.
First, Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe Records, gave the TiK ToK hitmaker the green light, but upon reading reports that Kesha would use the performance to make a “statement” — which most assumed would be about her litigation against Dr. Luke, to whom the singer no longer wishes to be contractually bound — Kemosabe withdrew its approval.
Kesha responded with a lengthy Instagram post in which she explained she was simply planning to perform a cover of Bob Dylan’s It Ain’t Me Babe.
“I just wanted to make very clear that this performance was about me honoring one of my favorite songwriters of all time and has never had anything at all to do with Dr. Luke,” she wrote. “I was never going to use a picture of him, speak of him or allude to my legal situation in any way. I simply wanted to sing a song I love to honor an artist I have always looked up to.”
Dr. Luke and Kemosabe would later reverse course again, finally agreeing to allow Kesha to appear on the BBMAs.
“Kesha’s performance on the Billboard Music Awards was always approved, in good faith,” read a statement from Kemosabe, which owns Kesha’s music and is owned by Sony. “Approval was only suspended when Kemosabe learned Kesha was to use the performance as a platform to discuss the litigation. Now that Kemosabe has obtained assurances, that it is relying upon, from Kesha, her representatives and Dick Clark Productions that neither Kesha nor her supporters will use the performance as such a platform, the approval has been restored.”
Thing is, It Ain’t Me Babe includes lyrics that could allude to her complicated partnership with Dr. Luke, and BBMA production sources told TMZ that was not a coincidence.
Will she stick with the song Sunday night? Time will tell.