New documentary “Framing Britney Spears”

Kaitlynn Breeden, Associate Editor

 Framing Britney Spears, a new FX documentary released on Hulu, is about the conservatorship Spears is under. Produced alongside The New York Times, the documentary is based on the newsroom’s reporting throughout the conservatorship case. 

 The first half of the documentary is a quick overview of young Spears’s rise to teen-pop stardom. It shows the exploitation she faced as a teenager in the music industry, and how the media was publishing articles about her in hypersexualized wayOn the surface, it sounds like the collective delusion of a fan base, but by laying out the facts, “Framing Britney Spears” highlights just how incredibly unusual, and unpleasant this situation really is. 

Spears has been under conservatorship helmed by her father, Jamie Spears, since her infamous breakdown 12 years ago, which resulted in hospitalization and rehab. The kind of conservatorship Spears is under is often used for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. She was only 26 years old when placed under the conservatorship controlled by her father 

Spears continued to release music, tour, and launch business ventures. However, her longtime fans have vocalized their distain at seeing Spears continue to be under a conservatorship at 38years old. Convinced that Spears herself also wants to be free from the legal binding, fans launched the #FreeBritney movement, to bring awareness to the discrepancies in the conservatorship. 

The documentary is bookended by an inside look at the #FreeBritney movement, which keeps fueling the fire on social media, podcasts, and protests outside the court hearing wherein Spears and her lawyers are fighting the conservatorship. It’s suspected to be that the primary motive of Jamie having a hold over his daughter, is that her net worth is $60 million.  

Spears has begun to state plainly that at the very least, she doesn’t want her father controlling her life anymore. In Nov. 2020, the court hearing over the conservatorship ends with the court declining to suspend Jamie entirely, but electing to name the Bessemer Trust Company as a co-conservator. In an interesting twist, Spears is paying for her own attorneys, and her father’s attorneys, as they battle each other in court to decide whether or not she is lucid enough to control her own finances. Despite not being yet being fully independent, fans have taken this as a partial victory. 

Lashing out against aggressive paparazzi and shaving her head was apparently enough to condemn Spears as incapable of managing her own life. But she’s more than capable of performing onstage and making millions of dollars apparently. “Framing Britney Spears” is a troubling but important film, that shows the reality of the popstar’s life. Many celebrities have shown their support online for the #FreeBritney movement, including Hayley Williams, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler, and Meghan McCain.