Free Britney: Why everyone is suddenly calling for Britney Spears to be freed
What even is a conservatorship?
One day when the aliens finally kill us all they will inevitably us will look to artefacts from our culture to find out who we were. I hope when they do some remnants of Britney Spears’s social media persona survive because Britney’s Insta, TikTok and Twitter are possibly the best things every produced by the human race. This is because unlike boring things like roads or democracy they primarily focus on Britney Spears living her best life – whether she’s showing off her unreasonably fit boyfriend, giving shout-outs to the LGBT+ community, or burning down her gym. It’s all good.
Except things might not be all hunky dory in Britney Land, because a campaign to #FreeBritney seems to leap into Twitter trends whenever she posts a TikTok – even if it’s something as innocuous as a video of her showing off some flowers. Some fans have gone as far to say the yellow top she wears in the video is a coded cry for help. Sorry but wtf is going on?
It turns out Britney Spears has been in a conservatorship for over a decade, which has meant she hasn’t had control over her finances for 12 years. The #FreeBritney campaign is essentially the internet’s attempt to release her from it. Here’s everything you need to know:
Okay, so what is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a legal guardianship usually put in place for those unable to make decisions for themselves. In May this year, Britney’s conservatorship was extended until August 2020. According to documents obtained by Entertainment Tonight, a hearing never took place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fans have argued the conservatorship controls and manipulates Britney, but a three-month investigation by The Los Angeles Times found no evidence to suggest she had been harmed by the arrangement. Law experts told The LA Times a conservatorship is an unusual measure for someone as young and productive as Britney, and they are usually intended for elderly people who suffer from mental disabilities they have no chance of recovering from.
According to court documents, Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, has the power to negotiate business on her behalf. He can also sell her property, file restraining orders for her, and restrict those who visit her. Every purchase Britney makes must also be logged in reports which are reviewed by the court annually.
How long has Britney been in a conservatorship?
Britney Spears went through a series of public meltdowns in the late 2000s and was twice admitted to a psychiatric ward in 2008. After the second visit, Britney’s father petitioned for a temporary conservatorship which was later made permanent. A co-conservator, attorney Andrew Wallet, was brought in also to manage Britney’s finances. Wallet had managed to grow Britney’s estate by $20 million during the time he was co-conservator. He later resigned without giving a specific reason.
60,000 people have signed a petition to “free Britney”
Some fans have even started a petition to campaign to free Britney so that Britney can receive her own lawyer for the conservatorship case and it has already received over 60,000 signatures.
The petition says: “Having been on four world tours with dangerous flying and fire stunts, it’s safe to say Britney is sane enough to feed and clothe herself.”
Why are people tweeting #FreeBritney now?
As mentioned previously, a hardcore group of fans believe the lighthearted TikToks Britney posts are coded messages asking for help, though there is no proof of this. Neither Britney nor her family have said said anything more about her mental health struggles, or her current feelings about the conservatorship.
A legal expert told The LA Times: “The fact that she’s been under conservatorship for a dozen years should tell you something about the state of her mental impairment and her vulnerability.
“The courts will do everything they can to ensure that a person is not conserved unless they really, really need to be.”
For the conservatorship to be ended, the court would need to see proof Britney can manage life without it. Britney’s dad is paid $130,000 a year by the estate. Britney’s relationship with her father hasn’t always been great, which is part of the reason fans are so determined to see the conservatorship terminated.
In an Instagram post last year, Britney said: “Don’t believe everything you read and hear.
“Your love and dedication is amazing, but what I need right now is a little bit of privacy to deal with all the hard things that life is throwing my way.”