Updated: Feb 26, 2022
Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram or watching a video on TikTok, and seen “#FreeBritney”? Well, the hashtag that has been spread all over the internet may be more important than you could imagine. On April 22nd 2018, 50 Britney Spears’ fans gathered around the West Hollywood City Hall to protest, which officially initiated the fight against Spears’ long-running conservatorship.
The two originators of the #FreeBritney movement, Tess Barker and Barbara Gray, have been investigating Britney’s conditions for years. Barker and Gray together realized that there was something dark and eerie about Britney’s posts on social media, which led to the beginning of the movement.
Ever since Britney had a breakdown due to the overuse of drugs 12 years ago, her father, Jamie Spears, has been in control of every single aspect of her performance life. Her instability and concerning conditions led to her father believing she was incapable of taking care of herself, which is why the conservatorship began in the first place. Britney has been in this conservatorship for years, and surprisingly her career never declined, even though her mental health was heavily affected.
Britney has had multiple comebacks after being brought down, with new albums, lingerie lines, perfumes, among many others, but her fans have always been unsatisfied with the fact that she is under a conservatorship at 38 years old.
A conservatorship is a situation in which an organisation or individual (in this case Britney’s father) manages another adult's finances. Recently, Britney has requested for her conservatorship to be public, although it has been private for 12 long years. Jeremy Spears described the movement as a social media hoax, although Britney herself appreciates her fans’ support.
Fans have always questioned whether or not Britney was interested in having the conservatorship, and the concerns grew after a podcast done on “Britney’s Gram”. In the episode an anonymous lawyer expressed concern over the conditions of the conservatorship, and the way Jeremy controlled Britney’s life.
Britney’s brother, Bryan Spears, partook in an interview speaking about his opinion on the matter. He stated that although extremely needed in the beginning, he hoped that changes would have been made to the rules of the conservatorship. According to him, Britney has always wanted to get out of it, and expressed that it must be very frustrating to have to follow orders all the time. Paris Hilton also spoke on Britney’s behalf, and declared that “if you are an adult you should be able to live your life and not be controlled”. She believes Britney should be free to make her own decisions.
Britney requested to remove her father as the head of her conservatorship but was rejected by a Los Angeles superior court. At the moment Britney refuses to work in any way until her father isn’t head anymore.
In 2009, the website “FreeBritney.net” launched, and fans ever since the movement began have protested on the streets, fighting for an end to her conservatorship.