The New York Times dives into the #FreeBritney Movement in new docuseries episode

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The latest episode of the new series, The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney, takes  us into Britney Spears’ personal relationships, her career, and life and a deeper dive into her conservatorship, why she had one in the first place, and why people believe she does not need one anymore. 

As defined by Merriam Webster a conservator is “one that preserves from injury or violation; protector or a person, official, or institution designated to take over and protect the interests of an incompetent.” 

Spears was put under a temporary conservatorship in 2008 after her second trip to the hospital in a span of a month. Upon release from the hospital, a Los Angeles court made the conservatorship permanent, meaning her father, Jamie Spears, was now in control of her finances and medical decisions. 

The documentary also analyzes Spears’ emotional downfall in regard to how it was decided that she was unable to care for herself anymore and how the media contributed to it.

“It’s so easy, it’s so much fun to take a celebrity who is a young talented beautiful girl and rip her to shreds,” said Kim Kaiman, the senior director of marketing for Jive Records from 1998-2004, the label that first signed Spears, in the documentary. 

The constant harassment by the paparazzi and the beration of her character by the tabloids and TV personalities greatly contributed to the decline of her mental health, something that was not openly discussed or typically believed at the time.

Her body, her music, her relationships, her sexuality, her mental health, and her role as a mother, were all things the world thought they had a right to know about and comment on. Spears’ privacy was gone, and it can be easily understood why she fell apart. 

In recent years, there has been conversation online, started by her fans, wondering if Spears, who is now 39 years old, needs to be under control by a higher power. Speculation occurred after fans realized that she continued to work, release music, go on tours, do interviews, and have a enormously successful residency in Las Vegas, all things, it would be assumed, someone deemed at risk would be unable to do. This has since turned into the #FreeBritney movement.

Spears’ conservator is her father, Jamie Spears, whom it is known by those closest to her that she had a strained relationship with prior to her conservatorship. He has been in charge of her finances and her life for the last 12 years.

When the movement started to pick up momentum, Jamie Spears said in an interview with the New York Post,  “All these conspiracy theorists don’t know anything. The world doesn'tdon’t have a clue. It’s up to the court of California to decide what’s best for my daughter. It’s no one else’s business.”

Spears, who is profiting greatly from his daughter’s conservatorship continues to insist that all is well, even though Britney’s one request for when it was decided she needed a conservator was that it not be her father. 

There have been attempts to have her father removed from her conservatorship and replaced with her mother. If she is unable to get out of her conservatorship completely it has been expressed that she would rather her mother be in charge of her life and finances. The court hearings remain ongoing and the movement continues to grow national support.

The documentary provides perspective into who Spears is as a person and how she started out in the industry as a young woman who could command her own space. She knew what she wanted out of life and her career and she was very involved in every decision being made even in the beginning when she was signed to Jive Records at 15-years-old. 

This is why her fans want her to have her freedom restored, so that way their idol, who liberated them and told them they could do whatever they want to do and be whoever they want to be, can feel liberated too. 

The episode is available to stream to paid subscribers of FX, Hulu, and Youtube.


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