Framing Britney Spears documentary on Hulu and #FreeBritney: What to know

Video screenshot by Leslie Katz/CNET

Britney Spears is within the information once more, however not for her music. Fans, together with celebrities, are talking out in assist of the Nineteen Nineties pop princess following the discharge of The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears, at present streaming on Hulu. If you are questioning why you retain seeing the hashtags #FreeBritney and #wearesorrybritney, learn on. 

The documentary sequence

A Spears-focused episode of the documentary sequence The New York Times Presents got here out on Feb. 5. The present, Framing Britney Spears, runs about an hour and 13 minutes, and has “generally favorable” critiques on CNET sister website Metacritic. Chicago Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper calls it “a thought-provoking retrospective on Spears’ life and career, up to and including the conservatorship battle as Spears continues to fight her father in court.”

The filmmakers contacted Spears and her household for interviews, the present’s credit reveal, however none ended up within the movie. However, mates, supporters, former staff and reporters all communicate on digicam about Spears’ life, profession and the marketing campaign to finish or regulate her conservatorship. Two contributors to the documentary, Babs Gray and Tess Barker, are launching a podcast sequence that can focus on Spears’ life, together with the authorized wrestle along with her father, and the delivery of the #FreeBritney motion to launch her. 

What does #FreeBritney imply? 

Back in 2008, a California court docket put Spears beneath a conservatorship, which means her father, Jamie Spears, has full management over her property and enterprise affairs. 

Spears’ father stays her conservator, and he is now the only individual in that function, since lawyer Andrew Wallet resigned from a co-conservator function in 2019. Some followers assist a motion they dub #FreeBritney, hoping social media stress will persuade the courts to launch the now-39-year-old singer from the authorized association. The singer herself known as the conservatorship “voluntary” in court docket paperwork filed on Aug. 31, but in addition mentioned she is “strongly opposed” to her father persevering with as the only conservator.

In November, Spears’ court-appointed lawyer mentioned she is not going to carry out once more so long as her father stays within the conservatorship function, The New York Times reported. “My client has informed me that she is afraid of her father,” the lawyer mentioned.

The subsequent court docket listening to within the case is scheduled for this week, Feb. 11.

Britney on Britney

The singer hasn’t straight addressed the matter, however on Feb. 9, she posted to Instagram and Twitter, and many followers imagine she was hinting on the state of affairs. Spears posted a video and wrote “can’t believe this performance of Toxic is from three years ago!!! I’ll always love being on stage …. but I am taking the time to learn and be a normal person ….. I love simply enjoying the basics of everyday life.”

And in a follow-up tweet, Spears wrote, “Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories!!!! We all have so many different bright beautiful lives! 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.”

Bette Midler, different stars communicate out 

In addition to Spears’ followers, some well-known folks have weighed in on the singer’s points because the documentary got here out. Singer Courtney Love was among the many many individuals who tweeted utilizing the hashtag #wearesorrybritney. 

Singer Bette Midler additionally tweeted her assist, utilizing the #FreeBritney hashtag.

Actor Valerie Bertinelli tweeted that Spears’ story “makes me crazy grateful for my parents and how they protected me as a young girl in this insane business.”

Journalist Tamron Hall wrote, “Finally watched the ‘Framing of Britney Spears’ on Hulu. It’s an understatement to call it heartbreaking.”

Actor Heather Matarazzo delivered a heartbreaking message, writing, “The rage and sadness I felt watching #FramingBritneySpears last night traveled with me into my dreams. I woke up wanting to burn everything down and be her friend.”

Diane Sawyer, Justin Timberlake face backlash 

Older commentary about Spears can also be beneath a microscope. Some individuals are calling out journalist Diane Sawyer for a 2003 interview with Spears that seems within the documentary, whereas others are praising talk-show host Craig Ferguson for saying on air that comics should not joke about Spears’ troubles. Other followers have criticized Spears’ former boyfriend, Justin Timberlake, and others who have been concerned in a roundabout way with the singer, or who as soon as supplied commentary on her troubles.

Britney fundamentals

If you’ve got in some way managed to get to 2021 with out ever listening to of Britney Spears, here is the briefest of rundowns. Spears was simply 11 in 1992 when she was forged on The Mickey Mouse Club. Her debut album, 1999’s …Baby One More Time, bought greater than 25 million copies worldwide, and is among the best-selling albums of all time. She’s gained a Grammy Award, six MTV Video Music Awards, seven Billboard Music Awards, and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There’s no query she’s one of many best-selling, best-earning, and most-searched stars of all time.

But her private life has typically outshone her profession successes. She wed childhood pal Jason Alexander in 2004 and that marriage was annulled after simply 55 hours. She later starred in a actuality present, Britney and Kevin: Chaotic, with eventual husband Kevin Federline — whose girlfriend was nonetheless pregnant together with his baby when he began relationship Spears. Spears and Federline had two sons of their very own, and she later misplaced custody of each of them, with the couple’s numerous parental battles at all times making information. 

Her psychological well being and different struggles grew to become excruciatingly public: In 2007, Spears shaved her head, reportedly saying she was “tired of people touching me.” But public sympathy typically appeared to favor Spears, who got here off as a troubled younger lady who discovered fame and fortune too early and was understandably unable to deal with it. 

How to watch the documentary

The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears is now out there on FX and FX on Hulu. You can watch it on streaming service Hulu, on the FX cable channel, or on FX’s web site so long as you pay for a cable subscription that features FX, or subscribe to a streaming bundle that features the channel.

The official FX YouTube channel has additionally been exceptionally free with clips from the present, when you do not thoughts getting highlights in two-minute video blocks.