celebrity

How everyone - including Britney herself - has reacted to the Britney Spears documentary.

Britney Spears is no stranger to having the world talk about her. And with the release of The New York Times' documentary 'Framing Britney', there is a renewed intrigue into the life and career of the 39-year-old - specifically, the exploitation she suffered from seemingly every person in her life. 

From the media to her family, the documentary delves deep into how many benefited from Britney's lucrative rise to stardom, with the biggest expense of it all being Britney Spears herself. 

Listen to The Spill, where hosts Laura and Kee discuss the names missing from the Britney Spears backlash. Post continues after podcast.

The mega-star's public meltdown in 2007 and 2008 was as shocking as it was distressing; as unwatchable as it was... watchable. It was also the catalyst for her conservatorship - a legal document designed for those incapable of making rational decisions. 

In light of the documentary, which is not yet available in Australia, there is growing momentum for the 'Free Britney' campaign, which is a fan-based movement to remove Britney Spears' father as the sole conservator of her the singer's estate. 

Watch the trailer for 'The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears' here. Post continues below. 


Video via Hulu.

So, how has the world responded? Overwhelmingly, people have sympathised with what Spears endured.

Britney Spears' response to her documentary. 

For the past 12 months in particular, Spears' own voice has been absent from the public conversation over her conservatorship. But following the release of The New York Times' documentary, the 39-year-old seemingly responded to her conservatorship coming under renewed scrutiny. 

"Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories !!!!" Spears wrote on Twitter, where she has over 55 million followers. "We all have so many different bright beautiful lives !!! Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens!!"

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Celebrities' responses to 'Framing Britney'.

In the wake of the documentary, a slew of celebrities have expressed their support for Spears. 

Among them was singer Miley Cyrus, who during her pre-Super Bowl performance on Sunday shouted, "We Love Britney!" 

American talk-show host Andy Cohen shared his endorsement of the movement on February 8, writing: "Good morning! Have a great day! And: #FreeBritiney."

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Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker shared her support, simply tweeting the hashtags "Framing Britney Spears" and "Free Britney".

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Singer Bette Midler also tweeted her endorsement. 

Meghan McCain, host of The View and daughter of the late Republican John McCain, added to the list of celebrities expressing their support, saying on Instagram: "One of the greatest living entertainers, she deserves better than what we have given her. Free Britney."

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Singer Hayley Williams, lead vocalist of Paramore, expressed outrage at the treatment Spears received, writing: "No artist today would have to endure the literal torture that media/society/utter misogynists inflicted upon her."

Grammy Award winner Sam Smith retweeted Hayley's post, also in a sign of support for Spears. 

Other celebrities included Khloé Kardashian, who wrote in a comment on an Instagram post by '@sainthoax': “I am praying for queen Britney! So so so sad.”

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A brief history of the 'Free Britney' movement.

In 2009, fan site Breathe Heavy began an unofficial campaign, Free Britney. The site condemned the conservatorship before the owner was contacted by Britney’s father who furiously asked them to stop.

The movement was revived in 2019 by podcast "Britney's Gram," whose hosts unpacked and analysed Spears' conservatorship. 

The arrangement asserts that her estate, plus financial and personal assets, are controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, and a lawyer (who was Andrew Wallet, before he quit in 2019, leaving her father with sole legal control).

A 2016 article by The New York Times detailed the extreme control her conservator holds: "Her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control."

Unlike most people who are put under the constraints of a conservatorship, Spears has managed to continue her highly successful career. 

Since 2008, she has released three albums, been a judge on X Factor and done several live shows, particularly in Las Vegas. According to Business Insider, her net worth in 2019 stood at $US59 million. Whilst it is largely speculated that the conservatorship was the saviour of her career, others condemned the tight control her father legally holds over her.

Britney Spears' father is the sole conservator of her estate. Image: Getty.    Britney Spears has only once spoken publicly about her feelings towards her lack of freedom. In 2008, Spears told MTV she was not a fan of the conservatorship. "It's too in control," she told the publication.

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"If I wasn't under the restraints I'm under, I'd feel so liberated," she said. "There's no excitement, there's no passion... Even when you go to jail, you know there's the time when you're going to get out. But in this situation, it's never-ending."

In 2020, Britney Spears tried to break away from the conservatorship by trying to to permanently remove her father from the conservatorship, as reported by The New York Times

Her few comments about the conservatorship have come from the legal documents that have been filed in court.

In September 2020, Spears' lawyers filed an objection to sealing parts of the case from the public.

"Britney believes it is consistent not only with her personal best interests but also with good public policy generally that the decision to appoint a new conservator of her estate be made in as open and transparent a manner as possible," the filing stated, according to CBS News. "The sealing motion is supposedly being brought by her father to 'protect' Britney's interests, but she is adamantly opposed to it...

"At this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans."

Certainly, the battle of the conservatorship is far from over. 

Feature image: Getty. 


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