Why is #FreeBritney trending again? See the controversial FX docuseries
Britney is back. Then again, she never really left. Britney Spears isn’t a one-hit wonder, she’s a pop icon who has been in the limelight since she first gave us “. . . Baby One More Time” back in 1999, going on to deliver massive hits and even more massive celebrity gossip headlines.
The new FX documentary, The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears focuses on the latter, as it addresses the unfeeling manipulation of her image by the media, as well as her thorough experience of the toxic nature of celebrity culture.
Furthermore, the doc covers Britney Spears’s career from her start all the way to present day, as Britney continues to face consequences of her management’s alleged puppetry and the actions taken against her, reportedly as a result of the media’s manipulation of her image. The most severe of these consequences is her father’s conservatorship, which has Britney back in the public eye & people around the globe shouting #FreeBritney!
(You Drive Me) Crazy
Framing Britney Spears discusses the framework of Britney Spears’s career, from her beginnings on The Mickey Mouse Club in the early 90s to her Las Vegas residency in the early 2010s.
The timeline of Britney’s stardom is a blueprint that reflects many of the documentaries analyzing the pop icon’s career, but what makes Framing Britney Spears unique is its focus on the media’s ruthless character assassination of Britney Spears, as well as the legal troubles that came from her alleged mental breakdowns that were captured by the paparazzi.
The iconic bald, umbrella-wielding “crazy” Britney becomes a much darker image when the documentary reveals the context in which these images were birthed, as stammering paparazzi defend their vulturous picture-snapping in interviews.
The new FX documentary unpacks the savage treatment Britney received from the media, as we see old interviews where talk-show hosts ask Spears about her breasts, virginity, and a plethora of intrusive questions that would result in cancellation in 2021. However, these interviews aren’t what’s making #FreeBritney trend in 2021.
Framing Britney Spears culminates in unpacking the #FreeBritney movement, which was sparked by Britney’s legal situation that stemmed from her alleged breakdown in 2007. In 2008, Spears began living under her father Jaime’s conservatorship, in which he’s controlled her finances & personal life since as a result of a court order.
Now, fans & celebrities alike have expressed their support for Britney, shouting out #FreeBritney on social media in solidarity, with hopes she’ll be freed from her father’s control. The documentary shows that Britney has tried tirelessly to have someone other than her father be her conservator, but that legal red tape has left him in control of her life for years.
The #FreeBritney movement has been around for some time, but Framing Britney Spears has brought the pop singer’s struggles to a wide audience, and people around the globe have shown their support on social media in the wake of the trending documentary. Celebrities have taken to Twitter to use their louder voices to bring support to Britney since the documentary dropped.
Entertainment Weekly reported yesterday with some of the biggest stars’ reactions to the doc and their words of support. Bette Middler & Sarah Jessica Parker tweeted “#FreeBritney” on Saturday & Sunday, while 90s rock icons Garbage sent out a broken heart emoji with a message about the documentary and that something “very wrong” is going on with Britney Spears.
We can only conclude that the celebrity response has bumped up the already overwhelming popularity of Framing Britney Spears, and it all has #FreeBritney trending again. Fans can only wonder if the documentary will get Britney help in her quest for autonomy. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure, and that’s that Britney has made headlines once more with Framing Britney Spears. Oops, she did it again.