#FreeBritney: The 13 Year Fight and New Documentary
It’s been 13 years since Britney’s conservatorship. We’re talking celeb reactions, Britney’s response, the upcoming NY Times documentary, and the unwavering fan support behind the #FreeBritney movement.
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What is #FreeBritney?
Since 2008, fans and celebrities alike have taken to social media to show support for Britney Spears. The hashtag #FreeBritney has been an attempt by fans to uncover the truth about the 39-year-old’s conservatorship helmed by her father, Jamie. Fans have utilized the #FreeBritney movement to expose discrepancies of the conservatorship, de-code Britney’s ominous instagram posts, and support the “freeing” of Britney.
Despite battling the stigma of mental health since 2007, Britney’s career has been on fire, featuring multiple albums and tours, an extended Vegas residency, and several business ventures.
A change.org petition created by #FreeBritney supporters argues that this activity is evidence enough that Britney does not need a conservator. The petition has gained over 329,000 signatures and states, “Britney is deemed mentally stable enough to tour the world 3 times since 2007, but not to hire her own lawyer?” With a conservator, Britney cannot drive a car, vote, get married, spend her own money, hire her own lawyer (one has been appointed by the court), speak publicly about the conservatorship and more, according to Diet Prada.
In it’s 13 year history, the #FreeBritney campaign has gained momentum beyond social media, reaching even the White House with a petition, several protests, and a lot of publicity. Even the pandemic hasn’t slowed rallies and people have travelled thousands of miles to show their support.
In September 2020, Britney addressed the movement for the first time in a court statement read by her court-appointed attorney, “[Britney] welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans,” according to Harper’s Bazaar.
Since 2019, (perhaps the official start of the movement?) celebrities have shown their support for Britney both on and off social media.
Inside the Battle for Britney Spears https://t.co/t6McOBuuSv via @LAMag POSSIBLE …JUST ENOUGH MEDS TO KEEP HER WORKING,BUT NOT ENOUGH TO HAVE A LIFE
Cher most recently reignited the trending hashtag on Twitter in January 2021 by sharing an investigative article into Britney’s story and bringing more visibility to the movement.
While on Watch What Happens Live in October 2020, Andy Cohen asked if Mariah could relate to Britney’s experience based on the pop icon’s own history. She responded, “I don’t feel comfortable commenting on anybody else’s personal situation, particularly when it seems so intense, so I would just send love.”
In 2019, Miley showed support for her “SMS (Bangerz)” collaborator by cheering “Free Britney!” to the crowd while performing “Party in the USA.” Then, in a 2020 interview with iHeartRadio Canada, Miley stated “Britney, like anyone else, should have the freedom to live the life that’s most authentic to her.”
“I saw her this summer…I love her so much and I just feel if you’re an adult you should be able to live your life and not be controlled,” Paris told Andy Cohen on hisSiriusXM Radio Show in September 2020.
Real Housewives of NYC star, Luann de Lesseps was an early adopter of the #FreeBritney movement in 2019, showing her support in a Countess-eque fashion.
With the #FreeBritney movement strong as ever, fans can get excited about a new documentary by The New York Times. Framing Britney Spears examines what the public might not know about Britney’s life, relationship, conservatorship, and court battle with her father.
According to the trailer, we can expect key interviews, a look at the fanbase that kickstarted the movement, and a re-examination of how the media has treated one of the “biggest pop stars of all time.”
You can watch Framing Britney Spears Friday, Feb. 5, at 10 p.m. on FX and streaming on Hulu.
What are you hoping to learn from the new doc? Share this article with a friend that you know has been waiting for this!
Ani Cataldi is a senior at Penn State, pursuing a BA in Strategic Communications and a minor in Media Studies. She is an Intern at AfterBuzz TV, passionate about increasing diversity in the entertainment industry, and lover of all things Bravo, Bravo, Effing Bravo.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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