Supporters of the Free Brittney Movement holding signs and protesting at a rally.

Free Britney Movement (#FreeBritney)

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The Free Britney Movement is a social movement to raise awareness and fight against Britney Spears' conservatorship, which disallows her from handling her own finances and making career decisions for herself. Originally intended to end in 2009, her conservatorship has been a widely discussed topic online, particularly between 2019 and 2021, with many celebrities and other high-profile individuals rallying to her cause.


Concerns For Mental Health, Psychiatric Hold

Between 2007 and 2008, Britney Spears was involved in a number of widely reported controversies that lead to concerns for her mental health, including shaving her head[1] and attacking a photographer's car with an umbrella.[2] On January 4th, 2008, People[3] reported that Spears was willingly put under a 72-hour "5150 hold" (which allows someone to be involuntarily detained for hospitalization) in a psychiatric facility. Later that month, Spears was put under a second involuntary psychiatric hold where they transported her to the facility via ambulance (shown below).[5]

Britney Enters Conservatorship

In February 2008, Spears' father Jamie was awarded temporary conservatorship over his daughter, with attorney Andrew Wallet as co-conservator, giving them the rights to decisions regarding her health, estate, business deals, who she can work with and more in the state of California.[4] Following the conservatorship, Spears continued to release music, tour and conduct business in accordance with her father's choices.

Over the next 10 years, the conservatorship was regularly reviewed, with the courts extending it each time.[6][7] On November 30th, 2008, MTV released a documentary titled Britney: For The Record[9] detailing Britney's first year in a conservatorship (trailer shown below, left, and a scene shown below, right).

As news of her conservatorship continued to appear in the news, the discourse surrounding it increased and many began to express concerns over it, believing Spears' father was using it to take advantage of his daughter and that she didn't need it anymore. Stories supporting this theory include the conservators attempting to trademark "Britney Spears,"[11] and selling Spears' real estate properties to each other.[12] According to Jamie, his relationship with Spears has always been strained.[8]

Since 2019,[10] has kept a detailed timeline of the events of the conservatorship.

Jamie Spears Takes Over Conservatorship

On January 4th, 2019, Britney Spears went on an indefinite work hiatus because of her father Jamie's deteriorating health, saying in an Instagram[13] post that he almost died after suffering a near-fatal colon rupture (shown below). Spears also canceled her planned Las Vegas residency during the same timeframe.

britneyspears Follow ... britneyspears I don't even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I've been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it's important to always put your family first. and that's the decision I had to make. A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We're all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand. More information on ticket refunds is available on I Liked by elon and 1,094,538 others

On March 25th, 2019, co-conservator of Britney Spears' estate Andrew Wallet stepped down from the conservatorship, leaving Jamie as the sole conservator and giving him full control over Spears' career and person.[14]

Whistleblower Speaks Out

On April 16th, 2019, an anonymous whistleblower called into the "Britney's Gram" podcast and alleged that Spears had been drugged regularly, leading to an involuntary psychiatric hold. In the clip, he alleges that Spears canceled her Vegas shows because she refused to take medication at her father's request, telling her team to blame it on his illness. The whistleblower also says Spears has been held in a psychiatric facility against her will since January 2019 after breaking a rule stating she can't drive (shown below).[15]

#FreeBritney Movement Begins

The clip from Britney's Gram went viral, inspiring users to start the #FreeBritney hashtag across social media on April 17th, 2019, to raise awareness about Spears' conservatorship and work on freeing her of it (example posts from that date shown below).[18]

santaspears @santaspears4 · Apr 16, 2019 Jamie, Larry and company continue to hold her life hostage since 2008. Unbelievable! #FREEBRITNEY Britney Army @ltsBritneysFan - Apr 16, 2019 RETWEET THIS EVERYWHERE. Britney is in a mental health facility against her will since Jan! Her Vegas residency was cancelled bc she refused to take drugs she was being forced to take. #FreeBritney she deserves or support #3AIDuMsiaTakeONADesertisiang 2,591 Tweets 12 Trending #FreeBritney 21.6K Tweets FREE BRITNEY, Nick, and 2 more are Tweeting about this 13 - Trending Sontt Kingenu

On April 23rd, 2019, Britney posted a video to Instagram telling followers that she was okay and not to believe everything they read online in response to the movement (shown below). The video gained over 11 million views in just under two years. Many in the movement allege that this was a forced video planned by the conservators. Britney's Instagram is a frequent topic of discussion in the movement, with many believing that she sends cryptic messages through her posts about the conservatorship, although this has not been confirmed.

Jodi Montgomery Takes Over Conservatorship

On May 6th, TMZ[16] reported that Spears' mother Lynne wanted in on the conservatorship, specifically requesting access to medical documents, citing concerns for her health. On May 10th, the court ordered an evaluation over the conservatorship.[17]

On September 9th, 2019, Jamie Spears stepped down from his role as conservator over Britney, leaving sole conservatorship to her "care-manager" Jodi Montgomery. Sources report that Jamie stepped down after accusations of him abusing Britney's 13-year-old son Sean.[19]

On February 17th, 2020, Montgomery's hold on the conservatorship was extended through April.[20] On July 23rd, an interview with Britney's brother was released, in which he said he believed the conservatorship was right for her at the time, but now it may not be (shown below).[21]

On February 4th, 2021, Montgomery's hold on the conservatorship was extended through September 2021.[22]

Framing Britney Spears Documentary

On February 5th, 2021, a documentary titled, The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears was released, detailing the Free Britney movement, the history of her conservatorship and advocating for her freedom (shown below). The documentary received widespread acclaim and increased interest in the movement, as well as widespread media attention.[23][24]

Online Presence

The Free Britney movement is widely supported online across a broad range of sites and platforms. The discourse surrounding Britney's conservatorship is often found under the hashtag #FreeBritney on social media platforms, with numerous users in support of Britney (examples shown below).

FREE BRITNE iscreamcolour • Follow iscreamcolour #FREEBRITNEY 1d bertonijuan 000 1d 1 like Reply View replies (1) calliereiff 1d 7 likes Reply View replies (1) aryashirazi Britney 1d 2 likes Reply A Liked by chrisypoppy and 17,297 others 1 DAY AGO Add a comment... Post #FREEBRITNEY

Interest in the hashtag and movement increased significantly in early 2021 as word spread and Framing Britney Spears was released.

Brittney's Gram Podcast

In November 2017, Britney's Gram, a podcast about the conservatorship that examines Britney's Instagram posts and other information was created, becoming one of the most popular sources of information for the Free Britney movement.[25] Multiple videos about the movement have gone viral online, gaining multiple-millions of views (examples shown below).[26][27]

Search Interest

External References

[1] ABC News – Bald and Broken: Inside Britney's Shaved Head

[2] People – Britney Spears Apologizes for Umbrella Attack

[3] People = Britney on 72-Hour Mental Lockdown

[4] The Guardian – Court gives father control of Britney

[5] Free Britney – Involuntary holds lead to conservatorships

[6] New York Times – Is Britney Spears Ready to Stand on Her Own?

[7] ET – Britney Spears' Conservatorship Extended Until September 2021

[8] Us Magazine – Britney Spears’ Dad Jamie Admits Their ‘Relationship Has Always Been Strained’

[9] IMdB – Britney: For the Record

[10] Free Britney – Timeline

[11] TSDR – 75656375

[12] WixStatic – 237b6d_92dbad3a270c4a2da7f431b214336ec4.pdf

[13] Instagram – I don’t even know where to start with this

[14] The Blast – Britney Spears' Father Left as Sole Conservator of Her Estate After Lawyer Resigns



[17] The Associated Press – The Latest: Spears, parents talk in court; evaluation sought

[18] The New York Times – What Is Actually Happening With Britney Spears?

[19] People – Britney Spears' Father Jamie Steps Down as Her Conservator After Alleged Altercation with Her Son

[20] The Blast – Britney Spears Will Remain Under A Conservatorship For At Least Several More Months

[21] YouTube – Britney Spears’ Brother Bryan Speaks Out On Court Case

[22] PDF – 237b6d_92627343a6534f69a75db58b0a2f880a.pdf

[23] Global News – #FreeBritney: Why fans are concerned (again) for Britney Spears

[24] Vulture – Framing Britney and the Empathy of a Simple Timeline

[25] SoundCloud – Britney's Gram

[26] YouTube – The Hidden Cry for Help from Britney Spears. We've All Missed It.

[27] YouTube – The Tragic Life Story Of Britney Spears

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