The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears
February 12, 2021 6:04 AM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Britney Spears hasn't been able to fully live her own life for 13 years, stuck in a court-sanctioned conservatorship. A new documentary by The New York Times examines what the public might not know about the pop star's court battle with her father for control of her estate. It also explores the fervent fan base that is convinced Spears should be liberated from the conservatorship, and re-examines the media's handling of one of the biggest pop stars of all time. "Framing Britney Spears' premiered in the US on FX and Hulu.
posted by riruro (4 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I liked this although I don't think I necessarily learned anything I didn't know. The early '00s were such a weird time where it felt OK to attack young women for being young women. (I was also a young woman at the time & while I wasn't rich or famous, I definitely got into my own level of shenanigans, but somehow it was cool when I did it and gross when Britney/etc. did it.)

I hope we've learned to treat young women better but I'm not sure if that's true. I wish we'd treat them better when they are going through these things rather than realizing 15 years later we treated a trouble young woman terribly.
posted by edencosmic at 1:17 PM on February 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'd heard about this from seeing some folks on Twitter talking about it. I guess I expected more? Although without direct participation from Britney herself, and her family, I suppose there's not much else they could've done.

I'm bothered by the people who even now seem to insist they had no other choice. Like the one paparazzo they interview who tries to say, like, "I really wanted to be a filmmaker instead but you get sucked in by how much money you get doing this instead" and then moves on to "she never told me to leave her alone" when she fucking bashed up your car and you just kept taking pictures, you piece of shit.

And there was a tweet from some reporter from, I think it was Us Magazine, both trying to apologize for having written some of the bad articles back then, but also going with the "we were only doing what the public wanted" to which I always say, no, bullshit, you have other choices available to you. The public eats up what you give it. You could've seen this was clearly a woman in distress, walked away and left her to find time to heal, and found something else to sell to the public. Stop talking about her, and the public will stop asking.
posted by dnash at 7:54 AM on February 13, 2021 [4 favorites]

I watched this last night, and thought it was really good (not having known anything about Britney Spears or her situation going into it).

I hope that this brings attention to the myriad of ways that the mental healthcare system in the United States sets up an alternate legal system for people with mental illnesses. This is something that, for instance, Kamala Harris plans on expanding. Conservatorship is just one part of this system.

It was interesting to see the paparazzi stuff, as someone young enough and away from the media enough to have not seen it growing up. Seeing the videos of everyone yelling and pushing through each other, next to the guy justifying it with "she never asked us to leave her alone, except for the times when she did and we ignored it" was quite something. It does make me reflect on the modern incarnations of this — in many ways youtube drama channels are just tabloids for zoomers, and I think a lot of the same problems and incentive structures are there.

Thanks for posting this, I'm glad I watched it.
posted by wesleyac at 1:18 PM on February 14, 2021

As an elderly millennial who remembers watching Hit Me Baby One More Time on TRL, this doc made me deeply sad and also made me realize how much has actually changed in 20 years, because the "lol what a slut" jokes that people were making back then do not seem to be happening at the same frequency and pitch as they did back then.
posted by mostly vowels at 2:46 PM on February 20, 2021 [1 favorite]

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