Free Britney, B*tch
It’s no secret to practically the entire world that Britney Spears’ current life is not her own. Living under a thirteen-year-long court-sanctioned conservatorship by her father, Jaime Spears, she has been navigating life under the close watch of her conservators, unable to do or say anything publically without their approval. And while most people are aware of Spears’ current situation, many people struggle to understand what led to the conservatorship in the first place, as well as the complete lack of autonomy Spears has over herself.
On February 5th, The New York Times released Framing Britney Spears on Hulu, a documentary set to investigate Spears’ conservatorship. Starting from her first job when she was just a child to her current life, the documentary provides interviews and evidence to support her and shed light on the unconstitutional conservatorship, as well as what the conservatorship means for Spears, and the rules she must abide by.
Many have wondered where Spears has disappeared to these years and why she has neglected to release new music. One of her lawyers says “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father. She will not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”
While Spears has never been able to speak on the situation herself, she has made it clear through her lawyers and subtle Instagram hints that she is requesting help, and wants out of the conservatorship. Many have gone as far as to form groups dedicating to dissecting her Instagram captions and pictures, with a podcast surrounding her social media presence being one of the catalysts of the #FreeBritney movement, and The New York Times’ inspiration.
I cannot believe how badly Britney was treated by absolutely everyone. Used as a cash cow, hounded, misrepresented & publicly slut-shamed for years. & still doesn’t have her freedom. I think I’m ready to join the #FreeBritney movement. Where do I sign up?? #FramingBritneySpears pic.twitter.com/iLHyLYGl0a— Bianca Westwood (@beewestwood) February 16, 2021
The documentary includes interviews with family friends, marketing executives, lawyers and paparazzi, all with a unique and never-before-heard take on her situation. The film calls for Spears’ liberation, accusing the media of over-sexualization and manipulation leading to mistreated mental health issues, and Spears’ eventual loss of autonomy.
The documentary has gained quite a lot of traction since its release, with many celebrities calling to end the conservatorship and bringing awareness to the movement. Justin Timberlake even issued a public apology for his mistreatment of Spears in the past, and the court just recently ruled that financial institution Bessemer Trust can remain co-conservator in her case, as opposed to her father being her sole conservator.
The documentary is raw, real and sheds light on the dark side of the entertainment industry. Spears was robbed of the life she deserved, and justice is finally being served.
While Britney Spears’ story has been shared with the world, her fight for autonomy is not over. Millions of people continue to support, fight and protest for her rights every day. Framing Britney Spears was groundbreaking in the fight for her freedom, but the fight unfortunately continues. Until then, #FreeBritney, b*tch!
Watch Framing Britney Spears on Hulu!
Sarah Stukalin is a writer and singer from Houston, TX. She is currently a junior at Bucknell University where she is studying Vocal Performance and English while contributing to on-campus publications and a classical opera ensemble. She loves learning about new artists and discovering new music. Some of her favorite artists include Mac Miller, Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean, Megan Thee Stallion, and many more.