On June 23, pop star Britney Spears appeared before a judge in Los Angeles to request that her conservatorship, which she has been living under since 2008, be terminated.
In an impassioned 24-minute testimony, she described a harrowing thirteen years of abuse, forced labor, and lack of autonomy under the guardianship of her father, Jamie Spears, who is the conservator of her estimated $60-million-dollar estate.
The details of her testimony confirmed the suspicions of fans in the #FreeBritney movement, which has been gaining momentum since the launch of the podcast Britney’s Gram in 2017, co-hosted by comedians Tess Barker and Barbara Gray.
#FreeBritney was largely dismissed as a conspiracy theory until last year, when the New York Times released the documentary Framing Britney Spears. The film was widely watched and discussed, and it gave a stamp of journalistic authority to fans’ concerns that Britney was not happy under her conservatorship.
It’s a long saga—and a sad one—and it’s got us thinking about our own evolving opinions of Britney and collective treatment of famous women.
For today’s show, guest host Jade Iseri-Ramos leads a roundtable about Britney’s conservatorship and the ways we’re reexamining the public narrative about her life and career with Vox reporter Constance Grady and Sarah Marshall from the podcast You’re Wrong About.