Free Britney

Free Britney


Framing Britney Spears, a documentary by The New York Times available on Hulu, is a deep dive into the world of Britney Spears and her conservatorship that is currently headed by her father, Jamie Spears. The hour long documentary explores Britney’s rise to fame, her relationship with the media, and her subsequent “downfall” that led to the conservatorship in the first place.

Britney Spears, born and raised in Louisiana, got her big break participating in The Mickey Mouse Club. When the show was cancelled she returned home for close to two years before getting her record deal when she was just 16. Her debut album, …Baby One More Time, was released a mere month after her 17th birthday in 1999. The titular track, “…Baby One More Time,” quickly became a smash hit, launching Britney to pop stardom and into the public eye.

However, all things weren’t perfect for Britney: she was soon labeled as controversial and her relationship with the media was complicated from the beginning. Many parents despised her due to believed sexual content in her music, and she was attacked by everyone for not being a “good example.” With the rise of tabloid culture things only got worse as Britney began to be constantly harassed by paparazzi, leading to a very public breakdown in 2007.

Following her 2007 breakdown, Britney’s father filed for a temporary conservatorship over her and her finances that is still in place today. In 2020 Britney’s lawyer alerted the courts that she no longer wants her father to be in control of her estate, which sparked the popular “Free Britney” movement. The conservatorship and the movement are the main focuses of Framing Britney Spears, as The New York Times attempts to overthrow the narrative that Britney was, and still is, “crazy.” 

The documentary provides a much needed conversation about mental health, one that was sadly lacking when Britney needed it the most in 2007. It is a new, more nuanced, look at the world of Britney Spears, and it doesn’t shy away from the parts of her life that were less than perfect.