Britney Spears is best known as a singer and earned the moniker of “Princess of Pop” after performing a string of hits in the late 1990s and early 2000s and injecting life into the teen pop era. However, as the years have gone by, Britney found herself the subject of unfair media exposure, ultimately leading to a controversial conservatorship that sparked the #FreeBritney movement.
Although most of her life has been spent performing on the biggest stages, Britney Spears has spent the last decade restricted from controlling several aspects of her own life. Following her public mental breakdown in 2007, the Pop Princess’s father filed a petition to institute a conservatorship that was initially meant to be temporary. However, it became permanent the same year it was filed and did not sit well with Britney’s fans.
The Princess of Pop would make a comeback in 2008 with her Circus album, followed by other albums and tours. She also launched lucrative perfume and lingerie lines. While Britney made multiple comebacks, many of her fans expressed their dissatisfaction with the 38-year-old’s conservatorship. The terms caused unease among the fanbase, with many questioning if it was in line with Britney’s best interest.
On digital platforms, the hashtags started popping up as the #FreeBritney movement began to gain traction. Although a website was launched in 2009, it has since died down and only recently started a resurgence. The campaign was rejuvenated when an anonymous lawyer appeared on an episode of Britney’s Gram podcast, expressing their concerns over the singer’s camp and her father’s control over Britney’s life.
The website, FreeBritney.net, went in depth into the conservatorship, writing, “During the twelve years of Spears’ conservatorship she has repeatedly toured the world, released multiple albums, and worked on a variety of television shows. Her conservators decide whether or not she works, as she cannot enter into contracts for herself because she is legally not her own person. Britney Spears needs permission from her conservatorships to leave her house or spend any of her money.” Since the resurgence of the #FreeBritney movement, fans have taken to the streets to protest on behalf of the artist, calling for an end to her conservatorship.
As the fire grew hotter, Britney’s siblings started speaking up about the situation. In a rare interview, her brother Bryan admitted that the artist wanted to get out of the conservatorship for some time. Celebrity and longtime friend Paris Hilton spoke out about the conservatorship, offering her sympathies, having undergone a similar experience. Her younger sister has also shut down critics who attacked the family for their supposed failure to support the Pop Princess.
Since then, Britney has voiced her opposition to her father returning to the role as the sole conservator. Her petition to expand her legal team was approved. Although Britney’s request to remove her father as head of the conservatorship was not approved, she proclaimed that she would not be performing again as long as he is in charge of her career. Jamie would later lose a court bid that would have seen him as the sole conservator of Britney’s estate.
After years of fighting to end the conservatorship, Britney finally spoke out in court for the first time on the 23rd of June, expressing many grievances in a 24-minute address. Following the event, numerous fans and celebrities took to social media, celebrating the singer’s steps towards independence as the #FreeBritney movement supports her every decision.