While responses to the eye-opening New York Times documentary, Framing Britney Spears, continue to flood the internet, Britney has reminded her fans that “each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories”.
Hours ago, Spears posted a video of her performing her track “Toxic” from three years ago on social media, stating that although she loves being on stage, she’s currently “taking the time to learn and be a normal person”. She then went on to seemingly address the documentary, writing, “no matter what we think we know about a person's life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens”.
Britney’s tweets come during a reignited discussion around her welfare in response to the US release of Framing Britney Spears, a documentary from FX and The New York Times. The show is released among the backdrop of #FreeBritney, a movement among the pop star's fans that believe she is being held in a conservatorship against her will.
Naturally, the documentary analyses this ongoing battle Britney Spears faces with her father, Jamie Spears, which has long been the subject of fierce debate and upset for fans of the star.
As well as discussing the conservatorship battle, the documentary tracks Spears’ rise to fame and her subsequent treatment by the public and media. It critiques the toxic celebrity media culture that zeroed in on Britney in the ’90s and ’00s, particularly analysing its sexualisation of the star; the rife misogyny surrounding her, and the incredible lack of support in maintaining the star’s mental health under unimaginable pressure and spotlight.
The response to the documentary has been huge, with celebrities and media outlets alike sharing their support (and well-deserved apologies) to Spears.
Britney Spears’ boyfriend, Sam Asghari, also posted on his Instagram story, calling her father “a total dick”.
The documentary has sparked discussions around many aspects of Spears’ life, including the role that ex Justin Timberlake played in the media scrutiny.
In fact, clips of various media personalities discussing the star during these years have resurfaced, shining a light on just how much scrutiny was placed on Spears during this time. Of particular note are sexist and disturbing takes from Dianne Warwick and the moment when Craig Ferguson refused to make fun of Spears after her public breakdown in 2007.
In the documentary trailer, commentators speak to how the public “became fascinated with her sort of unravelling”, and the fallout of this fascination.
Framing Britney Spears, one episode of 10 in The New York Times Presents documentary series, is currently available on US streaming service Hulu, but will hopefully air in Australia soon.
This article was written by Dani Leever.