Britney Spears and the #FreeBritney Movement

By Lila Troum

Britney Spears is an early 2000s icon, whose prominent hits have made all of the throwback playlists. Starting her career at only age eleven, her parents have been heavily involved in her journey to stardom. Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, has been a part of her journey, though it’s debatable whether he was in it for Britney’s well-being or for the financial aspect. In 2008, Jamie Spears became Britney’s conservator, and the two entered a conservatorship after she was briefly admitted to a psychiatric ward. The movement #FreeBritney has taken over social media for quite some time and is still trending today. Fans around the world fight for Britney’s freedom and they hope to get it, as the fight still goes on. 

What is a conservatorship? 

A conservatorship is a concept where someone takes control of somebody’s life when they’re unable to handle their own money/day-to-day activities. This occurs typically when someone reaches an older age, or when someone doesn’t have the ability to have control over their life anymore. This has occurred with Britney and her father, and it’s been going on for quite some time now. Since admitted to a psychiatric ward, he’s made claims about her substance abuse, her undiagnosed mental illnesses, and her overall health not being strong enough. So, he has had a conservatorship with her for 13 years. Britney’s mother, Lynne, has tried to get involved with this, though, as of now, has not had the chance to do so. This conservatorship is extended to last until September of 2021, though, as done in the past, could be extended further. 

After continuing to receive warranted backlash, Jamie has stated that it’s in her “best interest” that the conservatorship is in effect. 

Where does Britney stand with this?

Britney’s legal team has mentioned that Britney is not a fan, and does not condone this conservatorship. She’s claimed that she’s afraid of her father, and believes that she should have at least some control in her life. In an MTV documentary, Britney: For The Record, Britney had this to say, “If I wasn’t under the restraints that I’m under right now, you know, with all the lawyers and doctors and people analyzing me every day and all that kind of stuff, if that wasn’t there, I’d feel so liberated and feel like myself. I’m kind of stuck in this place, and it’s like, how do you deal? I just cope with it every day.” Britney has had little to no freedom in expressing how she truly feels. She respects her privacy and has had little to say to the public about what’s actually going on, though through her lawyers, has shown her disapproval. 

What is #FreeBritney?

#FreeBritney is a movement started by fans that fight for Britney’s freedom. Though they technically have no ability to do so, as this is a legal issue, they continue to spread the word about her conservatorship, and let the public know exactly how revolting this situation truly is. They’ve been prominent on social media and have hosted public rallies to speak out for Britney’s freedom. The hashtag has trended on Twitter on numerous occasions and has over 200k posts on Instagram. There is an unverified account on Instagram which sheds light on rumors and updates regarding the fight while continuing to spread the word about the movement. 

What comes next?

As of right now, Britney is still under a conservatorship that’s been extended to the end of the year. Multiple court battles have endured since the beginning of the year, with two more scheduled to happen this spring. Britney and her legal team, as well as her fans, continue to fight for her freedom and hope that one day this will ensue and that Britney will have control over her life again. Hulu recently aired their Framing Britney Spears documentary, which shines a lot of light on what exactly is going on, and I highly recommend watching it if you’re interested in this topic. 

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