Music

Troye Sivan Responds To The Controversy Around The Main Support Act For His US Tour

Kim Petras has previously defended Dr. Luke from Kesha's allegations of sexual assault.

Troye Sivan has responded to fans after he was heavily criticised for inviting pop artist Kim Petras to open for him on his upcoming US tour, given her recent comments in support of Dr. Luke, Kesha’s alleged abuser.

Last year, the rising pop-star collaborated with the producer — real name Lukas Gottwald — for ‘I Don’t Want It At All’. While it didn’t make waves the way in which Gottwald’s previous hits did, the song propelled the still-unsigned Petras into acclaim, later featuring on Charli XCX’s Pop 2 mixtape

The collaboration also gained attention as Gottwald’s name has been noticeably absent from charts since 2014, as artists such as Katy Perry, P!nk and Kelly Clarkson refused to work with him again in wake of Kesha’s allegations of sexual and emotional abuse.

Shortly after Petras was announced as a support, many of Sivan’s fans called him out for working with a “rape apologist” and “victim shamer”, referencing a NME interview in which Petras appeared to dismiss Kesha’s claims of abuse. In the interview, Petras stresses she’s work with Gottwald again, adding that “I would like my fans to know that I wouldn’t work with somebody I believe to be an abuser of women, definitely not.”

The tour announcement came days after Kesha’s latest legal setback against Gottwald, which included a new lawsuit from the producer for $500,000USD ($660,320) for financial losses.

In response to the criticism, Petras shared a statement this Saturday in which she notes that her own “positive experience with Dr. Luke… does not negate or dismiss the experience of others or suggest that multiple perspectives cannot exist at once”. The statement, in which she apologises “to anyone I upset”, does not reference Kesha nor address whether she will work with Gottwald in the future.

Since then, Sivan has released a long statement on Twitter prefaced with an announcement that he had taken time to consider Petras’ place on his tour — ultimately deciding to keep her as support.

In the statement, Sivan says that he was originally ‘elated’ but ‘hesitant’ to have Petras on tour due to her relationship with Gottwald, but decided that he ‘believed in Kim as an artist’. He stressed that he was not aware of her comments.

“I since have read them and was troubled by them, like you,” he wrote. “The opinions communicated in these interview don’t align with my personal values or the values of the tour.

“My [subsequent] conversations with Kim and her statement yesterday showed me where her heart is and that she is growing and changing just like the rest of us. Her statement was genuine, apologetic, and clarified her position in a way that eased me. People mess up, people misspeak.”

Sivan announced that he would donate a portion of the proceeds to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) the US’s anti-sexual violence organisation. As with previous tours, proceeds will also go towards the Ally Coalition, a non-for-profit LGBTIQA+ organisation founded by siblings Rachel and Jack Antonoff.

Read Sivan’s full statement below.