Britney Spears fans are speaking out in support of the pop star after a new documentary, Framing Britney Spears, analysed details of her conservatorship battle. The singer has been under a conservatorship controlled by her father, Jamie Spears, for at least 12 years, dating back to her psychiatric hospitalisation in 2008, granting him the legal right to make decisions about her person and finances. After the film premiered Friday on Hulu, as part of The New York Times Presents series, viewers, celebrities, and supporters of the #FreeBritney movement called for an end to the singer’s legal bind.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kacey Musgraves, and Miley Cyrus (who shouted-out Spears at a Super Bowl preshow) were among those who shared love for the singer after the documentary dropped.
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In addition to focusing on the conservatorship, the documentary traces Spears’s rise from small-town talent to bona fide superstar and, ultimately, a target for insidious, misogynistic tabloid culture. Archival footage shows cringe-worthy early interviews during which she was asked about her virginity and body. After her breakup with Justin Timberlake, she was slut-shamed in the media over cheating rumors, and he went on a radio interview boasting about how they slept together.
Before mental health issues were more widely and sensitively discussed in public, Spears was mocked for concerning public incidents like shaving her head, striking a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella, and her multiple hospitalizations. After welcoming two sons with ex-husband Kevin Federline, she was also painted as an “unfit” mother, as she was seen driving with her baby in her lap and, on another occasion, tripping with her child in her arm.
Spears was contacted for the documentary, but the film states that it’s unclear whether she received the requests, given the conservatorship. Her parents, sister, and lawyers involved in her conservatorship also either didn’t respond or declined requests to give interviews for the documentary.
Although Spears hasn’t addressed her conservatorship outright on social media, in legal documents, she has expressed gratitude for her fans’ overwhelming support. A Los Angeles court recently denied a request to remove Jamie Spears as the controller of the conservatorship. The next court hearing is set for February 11.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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