'My heart goes out to her': Stars express support for Britney Spears following release of documentary
This weekend, all eyes were on Britney Spears. A documentary about the pop icon, Framing Britney Spears, debuted on FX Friday night and brought fresh attention to the pop icon's troubled history in the spotlight leading up to her mysterious current circumstances.
Since 2008, Spears has lived under the legal guardianship of her father, Jamie Spears, who retains power over both her personal life and business and financial decisions as conservator of her person (though he has temporarily relinquished this role following some health struggles) and of her estate (of which he is co-conservator alongside a bank). Since the establishment of the conservatorship, Spears has expressed a wish that someone other than her father take the position, but Jamie has not stepped down, nor has a judge removed him. Having released four albums and completed both a stint as a judge on The X Factor and the "Piece of Me" Vegas residency show in the last 13 years, the 39-year-old Spears is highly functional (in addition to being unusually young) compared to most people in this sort of legal arrangement.
Directed by Samantha Stark, Framing Britney Spears (the latest entry in The New York Times Presents series of standalone docs) examines the cruel celebrity culture of the mid-aughts that contributed to the toxic environment that brought about the "Lucky" singer's struggles. The film also takes a close look at the details of the conservatorship as well as the fan-driven #FreeBritney movement calling for its dissolution — which is rapidly picking up steam following the premiere of the documentary.
On Monday, Spears herself seemed to slyly allude to the existence of the film (though she has not explicitly acknowledged it) with a video posted to her ever-enigmatic Instagram, in which she wanted to talk about "the moment we've all been waiting for last week," she said before clarifying, after a pointed pause, "the Super Bowl!"
The star-studded itinerary for that highly anticipated event included a "TikTok Tailgate" pre-game show by Miley Cyrus, who performed alongside Joan Jett and Billy Idol but also snuck in a message of support to her fellow Disney alumna: In the middle of her 2009 hit "Party in the U.S.A.," after the line "and a Britney song was on," Cyrus cried out, "Hey, we love Britney!"
Stars like Paris Hilton and Rose McGowan have previously stated that they believe Spears should be allowed her autonomy, but since the debut of Framing Britney Spears, more and more celebrities have joined the chorus of the pop princess' fans calling for her liberation. Check out some of the reactions below.