What is going on with #FreeBritney?

Everything you need to know about the Britney Spears documentary that’s out next week...

Britney Spears
(Image credit: Handout/ Getty Images)

Britney Spears has been under an extraordinary and long-running conservatorship since 2007 that restricts her medical and financial freedom. A new documentary aims to make it clear: What is going on behind the scenes in the life of Britney Spears?

Britney Spears rose to fame as a teenage pop star in the 1990s. Since then, Britney has faced several very public ups and downs. 

However, there has been a major debate about Britney’s autonomy. The mysterious and long-running conservatorship Britney has been under inspired a fan-run movement to “Free Britney.”

Now a new documentary promises to reveal the ins and outs of the conservatorship battle that is taking place between Britney and her father, Jamie Spears. 

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The documentary, titled Framing Britney Spears, will be released on February 5 and stream on Hulu and FX in the U.S. 

Britney entered the conservatorship as a temporary measure for six months in 2007. In 2008, when she was 26, the conservatorship became permanent, following her public break down in 2007 when she shaved her head, was hospitalized twice under psychiatric hold, and had various stays at rehab where she was treated for drug abuse. 

Now, 14 years later, Britney is 39 and still under the conservatorship, which is, at best, unusual, especially under the existing legal statutes in California.

So why now?

Although Britney's father Jamie has been in charge of her estate and decisions for the last 13 years, along with a co-conservator, Britney recently lost a bid to have his control removed in November 2020. 

In this hearing, Britney's lawyer, Samuel D. Ingham, III,  told the court, "My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father." He continued, saying that Britney will not perform again while her father is in charge of her conservatorship.

The conservatorship was not revoked. 

What is remarkable about these court proceedings is the fact that they were made public for the first time, despite Jamie Spear's protests that the conservatorship should remain private within the family — or, as the Los Angeles Times described it, "hidden like a family secret." 

Britney's lawyer stated that Britney wanted her hearing to be public. "At this point in her life when she is trying to regain some measure of personal autonomy, Britney welcomes and appreciates the informed support of her many fans," he said. 

Fans of Britney have spearheaded the #FreeBritney movement on social media and have demanded that the singer be given the freedom to control her assets, estate, and business affairs. At times, Britney has posted to reassure her fans that she is okay. 

However, no one is quite sure what to believe, and the movement has continued. 

Although the #FreeBritney movement was initially dismissed as a joke made up by conspiracy theorists, fans are happy that their efforts are being taken seriously.

One #FreeBritney member took to Twitter to say: “We did this, y’all. This movement. We started it all. We created public pressure. We have affected change in Britney’s case. We were called conspiracy theorists and dismissed, but we preserved. Because we knew we were right. We just knew. Let’s take it all the way. #FreeBritney.”

The #FreeBritney movement have also protested outside the Los Angeles courthouse to make their voices heard. 

The documentary will explore the #FreeBritney movement and also examine the media’s cruel treatment of Britney throughout her career. 

“Framing Britney Spears re-examines her career and offers a new assessment of the movement rallying against her court-mandated conservatorship, capturing the unsavory dimensions of the American pop-star machine,” Red Arrow Studios said in a press release.

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Laura Harman

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.

Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.