Music & Culture

Everything We Know About the #FreeBritney Movement

Following the colossal concern from fans over the years about Britney Spears being mistreated by the teams around her, a movement went viral recently where people were petitioning to free Britney, using the hashtag #FreeBritney, from the restrictions that have chained her down her entire career. This building concern is what caused the pop star’s mother to file a legal request last week to finally be included in financial decisions regarding her daughter. These decisions have always been managed by her legal conservators. Here’s everything we know about the #FreeBritney movement:

Back in 2008, Spears was assigned a conservatorship after she hurdled through infamous public breakdowns that ultimately caused hospitalization and psychiatric help. Her father maintained control over her finances until her manager Jodi Montgomery acted as the conservator when her father resigned in 2019. This agreement gave them both legal and financial control of the pop singer, while drawing in $1.1 million in fees for their services each year. Usually, conservatorships are only given to those who are in comas or are suffering from severe mental illnesses. Yet Spears has released a multitude of albums, participated in a four-year Las Vegas performance residency, launched fashion and fragrance lines, and was a judge on the X-Factor during her 12-year conservatorship.

According to forbes.com, while under this agreement she cannot legally drive, have children, vote, get married, spend her own money or even speak publicly about the conservatorship. When experts looked into her situation, they found it extremely odd, which only further rallied fans and other celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Rose McGowan to participate in the #FreeBritney movement. The point of the movement is to help end this conservatorship, with concern that she’s lining the pockets of her conservators while being deprived of her rights and individuality.

Just last week, Spears’ mother, Lynn Spears, filed for a “special notice” of her daughter’s financial circumstances in “all matters” in regards to her daughter’s trust. In laymen’s terms, this translates to her mother potentially being able to be a guardian/watchdog over Spears and standing against the alleged abuse by both her father and conservator.

In traditional social media fashion, the #FreeBritney movement has amassed over 104,000 people who have petitioned the White House to look into Britney Spears’ conservatorship, while 185,000 people have signed petitions on Change.org to grant the singer her freedom and the right to her own attorney. In fact, Spears’ conservatorship agreement was meant to be brought to court earlier this year for reevaluation, but it was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her new court date was set to July 22.

Spears’ social media channels have been a large part of this controversy, as most of her content on Instagram features her dancing frivolously around her home, inspirational quotes and selfies. Many comedians and critics like to joke about her Instagram, but fans have long rallied against this behavior, calling it “inappropriate” when looked at through her conservatorship. Many people believe this surface-level content is all she’s allowed to post under the agreement, while others believe that some of her content could be coded with pleas for help.

With everything we know about the #FreeBritney movement, and her court date officially beginning yesterday, perhaps there are hopes a tide of change will come in Spears’ favor. Until then, we’ll continue to speak loud against this conservatorship and pray that Spears will be given back her freedom and individuality soon.

Featured Image: Instagram (@britneyspears)

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