#FreeBritney- Publicity Stunt or Cry for Help?

Britney Spears has been a name in pop culture since the 1990s. The early 2000s were filled not only with her songs but headlines about her infamous breakdown. Everyone knew she was having a hard time in the spotlight, but how much did we really know? Recently, the hashtag #FreeBritney has been circulating the internet. You’re probably asking, “Free Britney from what?” and you’re not alone. 

In 2008, Spears was put into conservatorship of her father James Spears. Conservatorship, often called legal guardianship, is “a legal concept whereby a court appoints a person to manage an incapacitated person or minor’s financial and personal affairs,” according to Investopedia.com. For Britney, this means her father is in control of her finances, her brand, her music career, her scheduling, and her personal decisions; essentially, her whole life. The fact that, as a 37-year-old woman, Spears’ father still having dominion over her life is something people have started to question. Many fans believe the conservatorship is used by her father to financially exploit his daughter, which led to the hashtag #FreeBritney. 

Over the last few months, Spears has been posting some odd things that have caught the eye of fans and spectators everywhere. Posting odd things isn’t new for Spears, but viewers have started to notice suspicious coincidences. Despite making social media posts claiming she is fine, the hashtag has spread like wildfire and many conspiracy theories have arisen with the idea that she is not fine, being at the center. She has gone on several times insisting that she was always part of the decision-making related to her and her estate.  

The movement has been around for years, but what really sparked the movement was a podcast that was based on dissecting Spears’ social media posts. One includes a voicemail left saying she was not in control of her own life. The voicemail is supposedly from someone that worked at the law office that was a part of her conservatorship legality. Their claims began the questioning into Spears’ life. The hashtag took off, trending on Twitter multiple times, to the point where even Miley Cyrus yelled, “Free Briney!” at a concert.  

It was ordered by a court that the situation be looked into this year, but the room was cleared of spectators. There are a lot of financial reasons mixed up in all of this, none of which will be gone into today, but the court must take those into consideration as well.  

At this point, the conspiracy theories are out of control. A White House petition even got to 100,000 signatures- which means the White House is supposed to respond. TikTok has taken the #FreeBritney to a new level with the theories people have. Here are some examples:

@tythecrazyguy

Britney Spears is trying to send us another message!! Video idea: from @itsjulianharper. Pls share!! #foryoupage #foryou #fyp #freebritney #britney

♬ original sound – TY
@3rdlayer

GUYS WE GOTTA SAVE BRITNEY THIS IS FR I feel like our generation has so much power we might actually have the potential to do something #freebritney

♬ original sound – Gabriela✨🦋

Obviously, some of the theories people come up with are off the wall. Some of the ways people claim she is “asking for help” are absurd and taken way out of context. However, if you look into Britney’s social media, there’s no denying it may be a cause for concern. Hidden messages are not a stretch for some of them, but the question still remains. Is #FreeBritney a stunt or is it real? 

Investopedia “Conservatorship”: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/conservatorship.asp