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Is Kesha Copying the Residents’ Stage Show?

Kesha
John Parra, Getty Images

Kesha is being accused of borrowing her stage show visuals from a rock band known as the Residents without seeking permission. But the band isn’t suing her…just yet.

For decades, the band has dressed in tuxes, complete with top hats, tails, canes and giant eyeball heads. Kesha has copied that aesthetic from tops to tails, it seems.

Kesha’s rep said she won’t be commenting on the similarities, and neither have the Residents, who don’t give interviews and who prefer anonymity. Don Hardy, a filmmaker working on a doc about the band, was given permission to speak for them.

“They don’t know what to do,” Hardy said, pointing out that the pop tart is “interfering with their intellectual property. Her people definitely didn’t call in to say, ‘Hey, can we use this?’ They’re debating what to do. One potential way to deal with it is to ask for a cease-and-desist and have attorneys sort it out. I think they’d rather see a different outcome, though. When you’re a smaller group, what do you do? If you file suit, people say, ‘Oh, it’s the small guys trying to get in on something big.’ It’s a no-win situation.”

Kesha was seen wearing one of the band’s tees in an MTV special, so it would seem that she is aware of their existence. Hardy reached out to her to interview for the doc after she was seen wearing the shirt but to no avail. He thinks that perhaps her people are not upstreaming the messages to their client and that if Kesha was aware of the doc and the situation where the band is displeased, she might be vocal about paying homage and be quick to remedy things, especially if she is indeed a fan, which an act like wearing a T-shirt seems to suggest.

“Residents fans are being negative to her, and that’s unfortunate,” Hardy says. “It’d be great to unite the two worlds somehow. There’s a subversive streak to everything she’s doing that seems different from a Katy Perry.”

Sounds like it’s up to Kesha to address things.

Next: See Kesha Without Makeup

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