#FreeBritney

%23FreeBritney

Cael Brennan

Britney Spears a multimedia pop star, possessing six billboard number one hits, an artist credited to 9 successful studio records, and withholding a net worth of roughly 60 million dollars is seen as less capable than the average 90-year-old in America. 

The New York Times has recently published a documentary available to stream on Hulu that has shaken the world and has acted as a revealing catalyst to the #FreeBritney movement. It details the then adolescent Spears’ complicated rise to fame, and her eventual perceived mental spiral resulting out of years and years of media harassment, objectification, and toxic public narratives controlling her. Samantha Stark, producer/director of the New York Times documentary speaks on the issue, “The country was enthralled with Spears in the 1990s as she suddenly ascended to global superstardom; Then the public seemed to relish watching her personal struggles, turning her life into fodder for late-night talk show zingers, sensationalist interviewers, and a thriving tabloid magazine industry.”

Complications regarding her diminished image arose almost immediately. Especially after excessive torment from the paparazzi and a heated custody battle that saw the pop star without her children. Culminating with Britney Spears shaving her head and causing the world to believe she was unfit to make their own decisions. What followed was Spears entering a conservatorship.  To define conservatorship it is a legal concept in the United States where a guardian or a protector is appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs and/or daily life of another due to physical or mental limitations, or old age.

Someone who made millions of dollars, outputting songs, doing promotion, and rehearsing for hours upon hours for their WORLD TOURS! Had been seen as incapable of managing their finances and livelihood. Britney’s father Jamie Spears who was appointed and acts as her conservator now opposes Britney’s wishes for a change in conservator within a court battle that has rallied fans and nonfans alike to support Britney Spears’ fight for autonomy.

Samantha Stark frames the issue, “Spears entered the conservatorship in 2008, at age 26, when her struggles were on public display. Now she is 39, and a growing number of her fans are agitating on her behalf, raising questions about civil liberties while trying to deduce what Spears wants.” the growing number of fans Stark is referring to is the booming #FreeBritney movement that essentially is the coalition of outspoken activists clamoring for Britney’s complications to be transparent to the public and contribute towards their hopeful victory in witnessing a victory in the courts for Britney.

Tim Chan a writer for the rolling stone identifies the core of what #FreeBritney and the fight against her conservatorship summons, “The question posed: was Britney a victim of her own success, or of a relenting media circus that seemed intent on tarnishing the world’s biggest star?”