Kesha’s Mom Responds to ‘Jeffrey Dahmer’ Lyric Backlash
Amid the popularity of Netflix's Jeffrey Dahmer series starring Evan Peters, people are calling a few famous pop songs' lyrics into question.
Apparently, many folks were unaware of who Jeffrey Dahmer was prior to the show's airing, and now that they know, songs such as Kesha's "Cannibal" are being considered controversial.
"Cannibal," which came out in 2010 and even went viral on TikTok in 2020, complete with its own dance, features the tongue-in-cheek lyric: "Be too sweet and you'll be a goner / Yeah, I'll pull a Jeffrey Dahmer."
However, during Kesha's recent performance for Hulu's Huluween Dragstravaganza, the mic appeared to cut out when she sang the "Dahmer" part of the line.
Now, Kesha's mom Pebe Sebert, who co-wrote the track and specifically penned that line, has responded to the lyric's "big controversy" in a TikTok.
"At the time, Kesha and the other writer were too young to even know who Jeffrey Dahmer was," Sebert said, explaining she used a rhyming program for songwriters and had been looking for something to rhyme with "goner."
"Not to be insensitive to anybody whose families were involved in this and lost loved ones," Sebert continued. "At the time, it was a song that we were writing about Kesha ... Kesha was not the most popular girl in high school. Later on when she got famous, all these guys that never paid any attention to her were coming around."
"It was a tongue-in-cheek funny song. It was not actually about cannibalism," she added, apologizing to anyone who lost someone due to Dahmer's horrific crimes. She clarified they "certainly never meant" to cause pain or "make anybody feel bad" with the lyric.
"The song's been out for more than 10 years. Jeffrey Dahmer was just part of the culture back then. Everybody talked about him for many years," Sebert pointed out.
Watch Pebe Sebert's full explanation video, below:
Commenters were quick to defend both Kesha and the song.
"Not y’all making Kesha’s mom apologize!" one person wrote.
"That line was genius!!! don’t let them cancel you guys!" another commented.
Someone else questioned why the line is just now being called controversial. "I’m just surprised it took people 12 years to figure out this reference???" they wrote.
Meanwhile, a few other artists have been called out for making Jeffrey Dahmer references in their music.
For instance, on Katy Perry's 2013 song "Dark Horse," rapper Juicy J raps: "She's a beast, I call her karma / She'll eat your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer."
Eminem has also included Dahmer-referencing lyrics on songs including "Brainless," "Must Be the Ganja" and "Bagpipes From Baghdad."