One of the world’s greatest pop stars, Britney Spears, has been in the limelight for the better part of her life. Spears started on 90s show “The Mickey Mouse Club” at age 11 before blasting onto the music scene with pop hits like “...Baby One More Time” and “Toxic.”
Spears continued having great success as a judge on “The X Factor,” various guest star roles on television and a headlining residency in Las Vegas that ran from 2013 to 2017.
Spears’ name has been buzzing in headlines over the last year in regard to her father’s conservatorship — when a guardian is appointed by a judge to manage the financial affairs of another due to physical or mental limitations —over her person, finances and estate. The ongoing controversy surrounding the conservatorship spurred the current #FreeBritney Movement.
#FreeBritney is an activist movement in support of the legal dismissal of Jamie Spears’ control over his daughter’s life. As of now, Spears can virtually make zero decisions on her own without her father and management's approval.
In light of this, on February 5, Hulu released a docu-episode in the series “The New York Times Presents” called “Framing Britney Spears.” The episode highlights Spears’ journey to fame, her past relationship, family background and challenges with her career and personal life due to her father’s control.
The Hulu episode reports Spears made nearly $1 million a week from her Vegas residency and her father received 1.5% of all performance and merchandising income.
Jamie Spears and attorney Andrew Wallet, co-conservators, were granted temporary conservatorship over Spears’ life following her 2007 personal unraveling and chaos. The Hulu episode divulged into Spears’ 2007 lost custody battle over her kids before also losing visitation rights the same year. Her kids are with ex-husband Kevin Federline.
Spears’ actions prior to the conservatorship were heightened due to tabloids and paparazzi. It was addressed in the episode that she was deemed unfit as a mother after photos captured her driving to get coffee while having her child in her lap. After the birth of her second child, Spears filed for divorce from Federline.
Before her marriage with Federline, Spears had a highly publicized relationship with pop superstar Justin Timberlake. They had a popularly reported breakup where Timberlake took control of the narrative, claiming Spears cheated on him. This caused further backlash on Spears, which she didn't know how to manage. After the airing of the Hulu episode, Timberlake issued a public apology on Feb. 12 for that period of time via Instagram.
“As a man in a privileged position, I have to be vocal about this,” Timberlake said. “Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life, but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again.”
The conservatorship Spears’ father has over her is bizarre, given the time frame it has lasted. Jamie Spears has held complete control for 12 years because of scarring personal experiences his daughter went through.
It’s neither normal nor logical that a father should still have reign of his daughter's life when she is 39 years old.
Many fans believe Spears’ social media postings are cryptic clues crying for help. Her Instagram page appears that she is often at home, and when she posts message graphics, her captions leave fans thinking more.
This began on April 3, 2019 when she rejoined the world of Instagram after a four-month hiatus. Spears’ post’s caption said, “We all need to take time for a little ‘me time.’” Another post on June 4, 2019 with an image of a lion was captioned, “What's behind these eyes?”
One that stands out is a post from March 17, 2020 that displays Britney addressing fans’ concerns over her similar picture background and outfit choices. This directly correlates to the entire speculation concerning her personal life and fans concerns over her conservatorship.
More recently, on Feb. 9 Spears shared a performance video of “Toxic” from three years ago. She ends the post caption by saying, “Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life, it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens.”
Spears is still under the control of the conservatorship today, and fans are still advocating against it. The episode on Hulu did state that Spears released a statement supporting the #FreeBritney Movement, while her father said the movement is a joke.
On Nov. 11, 2020, a judge denied Spears’ request to have her father removed as a conservator. Britney Spears deserves to be freed from her parent’s control. She has appeared to be more stable, meaning she is fit to be an active mom, artist and have freedom over her own life.
Follow Blake Haynes on Twitter, @BLAMHAY
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