Britney Spears, and more importantly, her conservatorship, is getting a lot of media attention following the premiere of the New York Times Presents: Framing Britney documentary.
After an in-depth look at the ups-and-downs of her life and career, the narrative surrounding the 39-year-old pop star is finally beginning to change in her favor.
The documentary takes a look at her mental struggles and public breakdowns, the media scrutiny she’s been forced to endure and how it played into her downfall, and the #FreeBritney movement, which believes that Britney is being held hostage and has been advocating on her behalf to free her from her father, Jamie Spears, who controls her finances and estate.
While the information in the documentary isn’t groundbreaking for Britney fans who have followed her career for years, it reinforces and brings public attention to the question they’ve been asking for years: when will Britney finally get control over her being and her life?
Where’s Her Dad?
While Jamie is very much involved in Britney’s life now as he’s been in charge since 2008 when he was appointed co-conservator alongside a lawyer named Andrew Wallet, that wasn’t always the case.
Kim Kaiman, senior marketing director of Jive Records from 1998 until 2004 recalls Britney’s mother, Lynne Spears, and her longtime friend and assistant, Felicia Culotta, being around in the early years of her career. One of the moments that truly stuck out the most, was when the executive said the only time she ever spoke to Jamie was when he said that his “daughter’s gonna be so rich, she’s gonna buy me a boat.” mAnd that was after all his money troubles came to light.
It’s not entirely surprising, in that case, that the documentary asserts that Britney does not want Jamie in charge of the conservatorship anymore and prefers an independent professional.
She Was the Boss
Britney’s backup dancer up until 2004, Kevin Tancharoen, assured fans that Britney was very much in charge of her own career and making decisions.
“She was definitely in control of a lot of decisions,” he explained. “That idea that Britney is a puppet who just gets moved around and told what to do is incredibly inaccurate. When I was involved in all of those years, we would present a lot of ideas and she would have to like them, she would have to approve them. She was very creative. She was the one who knew what she wanted to do, or her people would make [what she wanted] happen for her.”
“She was the boss,” he concluded.
The “was” is chilling considering many fans don’t think Britney has much control over anything these days including her Instagram, which is brought up briefly in the documentary as fans believe she’s using the social media platform to send cryptic messages and cries for help.
Britney vs. Justin
The world was infatuated by Britney and Justin’s romance, but the moment they broke up, she endured vile attacks as everyone took his side while he painted her as a cheater and washed his hands of any wrongdoing.
Former MTV VJ Dave Holmes says Justin “weaponized the idea” that Britney was the “school slut” for “Cry Me a River.”
Tancharoen echoed the sentiment calling the video, which featured a Britney lookalike cheating on him, as a “pure male revenge fantasy.”
The docu-series doesn’t hold back as it even features a clip of Justin doing an interview where he jokes about sleeping with Brintey. Justin willingly destroyed Britney to save himself.
It’s a Man’s World
Numerous interviews that have lived on Youtube for years now have become a primary focus as the documentary illustrates how the media fed into a problematic narrative about Britney.
Earlier interviews take digs at Britney as a woman and a sex symbol as she fields questions about her virginity.
However, Diane Sawyer is taking most of the heat for an interview that she did in 2003 in which she unfairly asks her what she did to break Justin’s heart.
It only got worse from there when Britney was hounded after welcoming her first child and scrutinized for hold baby Sean on her lap. At the time, Matt Lauer asked her about her feelings about being called a “bad mom,” to which she replied: “That’s America for you.”
The press, paparazzi, and the misogyny surrounding her break-ups exacerbated her mental health struggles. And at the time, the conversation surrounding mental health was “toxic” and words like “crazy” were thrown around to describe Britney’s behavior including shaving her head and attacking the paparazzi with an umbrella.
If you don’t believe it, just take a look at Family Feud, which made Britney’s meltdown a category in 2008. In the clip, contestants are asked to name “something that Britney Spears has lost” with contestant answers ranging from husband/marriage to her hair and eventually, her mind.
The documentary questioned how a woman who was capable of learning choreography and performing nightly sold-out shows was deemed incompetent to take care of her own life. (Her father and the conservatorship was praised for how great she was doing and turning her life around.)
A conservatorship is designed to protect the conservatee, but in Britney’s case, it raises questions about human rights and how they can be easily stripped from someone placed in a vulnerable position.
Many who spoke out in the documentary believe Britney is being exploited and the conservatorship doesn’t have her best interests at heart, especially when Andrew, the co-conservator, requested more money after Britney began raking in more dough during her Las Vegas residency.
In fact, Adam Streisand, the lawyer Britney initially tried to hire to represent her in the probate proceedings found that she was fit to make such a decision, and yet, the judge said she was unfit to retain her own counsel. Streisand said this was his opinion, but added he never saw the medical report that the judge cited to back up his decision. He emphasized that at the time of speaking to Britney, she was aware she couldn’t avoid the conservatorship but was adamant that she did not want her father in charge.
Despite Britney’s best efforts and all those activists in her corner, the conservatorship has been extended until at least September.
The conservatorship is currently run by Spears’ care manager, Jodi Montgomery as Jamie was removed for “personal health reasons,” but in November 2020, a judge declined to remove him as head of the estate and co-conservator. The judge said they would consider further petitions for removal.
But it seems as though Britney is finally firing back, standing her ground, and fighting for what she wants, especially as she stated she is “afraid of her father” and will “not perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”
And shortly after the release of the documentary, Britney’s boyfriend, Sam Asghari, put out a statement slamming Jamie for trying to control their relationship.
“Now it’s important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way, he wrote, adding, “In my opinion, Jamie is a total d—.”
The buzz from the documentary is promising, the reactions are strong and unified, but will it be enough to ensure productive discussions and a change in the long-run particularly for Britney? We can only hope.
TV Shows and Movies to Watch During Women’s History Month
March is not only Women’s History Month, but March 8 is also International Women’s Day.
To celebrate, Philo put together a curated collection titled “Celebrating Women ” to honor the fearless, passionate, and hardworking women in your life.
Per the release, the collection will include “movies and shows that magnify female experiences, explore narratives centered around women, and commemorate their vital role in today’s society.”
Here are some titles to check out:
Liza Miller is a forty-something-year-old who pretends to be half her age to rejoin the world of publishing. She never expects that lying about her age could open up a world of possibilities not only in her career but also in love!
Tyler Perry’s comedy-drama follows a group of single black women as they navigate the ins-and-outs of life like careers, friendship, and more.
You can find the full collection at philo.tv/celebratingwomen.
7 Most Anticipated Shows Coming in the Spring of 2021
As the days get longer, snow begins to melt, and flowers begin to bloom, you’ll likely find yourself emerging from a winter slump and ready to warm up your soul.
And what better way than with some exciting television blooming this spring?
While there’s plenty of shows returning from hiatus (you can find all the must-watch shows and movies premiering in March right here), there’s also a slate of new shows hoping to melt your cold exterior and warm their way into your heart.
Here’s everything that we’re looking forward to watching in the spring of 2021:
Debris – March 1 (NBC)
Network television loves its sci-fi! Debris finds two agents, one from the CIA and one for MI6, teaming up to travel the U.S. looking for remnants of an alien spacecraft to find out where it’s from, what it wants, and what it’s effects are on the human population. Think X-Files meets Fringe meets Extant.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – March 19 (Disney+)
Disney+ is expanding the world of Marvel with yet another addition to the small screen. Following Wandavision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a six-episode comedy about Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who is now Captain America, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), which picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame.
The Irregulars – March 26 (Netflix)
You know the story of Sherlock Holmes, but do you know the story of Dr. Watson and the Baker Street Irregulars? All you need to know is that it’s a gang of street teens manipulated into working for Watson to protect London from supernatural elements.
Law & Order: Organized Crime – April 1 (NBC)
The series marks Elliot Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni) overdue (due to COVID-19) return to television and the Law & Order franchise. Stabler stars up again with the NYPD and even reunites with Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) in the spinoff drama! Thursday’s just got so much better!
Cruel Summer – April 20 (Freeform)
Hailing from producer Jessica Biel, this psychological thriller – that’s also a ’90s throwback – examines the lives of two young women, one of whom mysterious disappears. Kate Wallis (Olivia Holt, “Cloak & Dagger”) is a popular girl who goes missing, and Jeanette Turner (Chiara Aurelia), is the girl deemed responsible.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers – March 26 (Disney+)
Polish those skates, because the Mighty Ducks spinoff is skating to the small-screen. When the powerhouse team turns away 12-year-old Evan, a potential new member, he and his mom Alex (Lauren Graham) decided to build their own team. The 10-episode series marks the return of Emilio Esteves as Coach Gordon Bombay.
Shadow and Bone – April 23 (Netflix)
Set in an alternate version of tsarist Russia called Ravka and based on the hit fantasy book series, sinister forces plot against a young soldier after she is found to have magical powers that may help unite the world.
Batwoman Review – Can Ryan Wilder’s Kryptonite Infection Be Cured? (2×06)
On Batwoman Season 2 Episode 6, Ryan Wilder could no longer hide the fact that her kryptonite wound was slowly killing her.
Talk about a painful death.
And despite all of it, she never let the people of Gotham, or her Bat team, down. As Luke pointed out, if that isn’t a hero, I don’t know what is.
Luke felt pretty terrible about the fact that he was the reason that Ryan kept her injury on the down-low and suffered in silence, but the moment also made him realize just how dedicated Ryan actually is to being Batwoman. She’s taking this seriously even if there’s a chance it’s only a temporary gig.
Of course, with no actual cure for kryptonite, this makes the hunt for the Dessert Rose that much more pressing.
Everyone wants a piece of Coryana’s miracle cure. And based on how they’re all behaving, I’m not surprised Safiyah has kept the location of the island under wraps.
Just imagine if it got into the wrong hands… say the rogue doctors at Hamilton Dynamics that stole the map from the Crows because they want to replicate it and get rid of the diseases. And while there’s nothing wrong with trying to find a cure for virtually every disease (although, I’m sure the pharmaceutical industry wouldn’t be pleased, unless the idea is to charge a high premium for the drug once it’s available), the approach was quite problematic.
He had no problem testing on patients as if they were lab rats and didn’t care how many of them died. He then sent Aaron, an unhinged patient with spontaneous rage issues, to kidnap Mary and Jacob Kane in order to get information, and then he and his men ambushed the Crows and stole the map from them!
Here’s my issue with that whole scene – after managing to get the map from two of Gotham’s most violent criminals, Ocean and Alice (without backup, might I add), Sophie somehow thought it was a good idea to bring it with her to a hostage situation.
Sure, she wanted to save Mary and Jacob, but how would anyone know if she swapped it with a fake?
What a fail on her part.
Despite Batwoman’s disdain for Sophie (whom she hilariously refers to as “Crow-phie”), she couldn’t gamble with her life and handed over the map.
That means Batwoman wants the Dessert Rose to heal herself, Hamilton doctors want it to create an all-encompassing cure and The Crows, Mary, and Luke want the map so that it can lead them to Kate, who is allegedly still alive.
A lot of people with a lot of motivation!
Ocean, who was confirmed to be the one growing the psychedelic mushrooms for Snake Bite, had the map to Coryana (hidden under the real Napier painting) this whole time, but never told Alice it was a map that could lead them to the one woman who not only wants him dead, but also erased all of his romantic memories with Alice.
There’s a chance he didn’t know about the map, but how would he know to burn it when Sophie caught them?
And if the Dessert Rose is all he’s after, why didn’t he just follow the map back to where it all started in the first place?
What are we missing about Ocean?
Though, admittedly, I’m really into this partnership. Ocean seems like Alice’s equal only slightly deranged, and seeing Alice in love has plenty of potential.
It’s unclear why Coryana wants Ocean dead, but Alice made the right choice by sparing him because that’s clearly leverage to get her sister back. Plus, pretending to “kill him” will help her back into Safiyah’s good graces, and hopefully, we’ll learn more about their previous relationship.
It looks like there was a time that Alice wasn’t a complete psycho, and while it’s delicious to watch her torment the innocent souls of Gotham, it would be fun to explore a different side to her that’s less vindictive.
I’m a little upset that the series brought Angelique and Ryan back together just to rip them apart again. The relationship was doomed from the start since they never confronted what went wrong the first time around, and instead, jumped right back into a relationship that was previously plagued by bad decisions and addiction.
Angelique may be clean now, but she’s still dealing and has no plans to stop. That’s problematic for Ryan, who went to prison for her and wanted her to make the best of this second chance.
The reality is that no matter how much they love each other, they don’t see eye-to-eye. Sophie may not always have Ryan’s best interests at heart, but she was right for calling out Ryan for returning to the same lifestyle that previously got her in trouble.
If she wants to be the hero, she can’t also be dating someone that’s on the opposing team.
Ryan got upset with Luke after finding out he was in cahoots with Alice to find Ocean, but if you think about it, Angelique is working with Ocean, who now has a very “complicated” connection with Alice. That’s a big red relationship flag!
Jacob Kane also needs to learn how to be a father. Mary finally told him about her underground clinic, and while it wasn’t by choice or the way she wanted to do it, it was a weight lifted off her shoulders that she could finally be honest with him.
And instead of embracing her or trying to understand it, he told her he was shutting it down.
His logic didn’t even track. After finding out that his wife and Mary’s mom, who was previously CEO of Hamilton Dynamics, gave the green light for human trials, Jacob figured he had to intervene in Mary’s life before she followed the same trajectory.
There’s no way to justify the logic, especially since Mary has helped so many people that couldn’t afford healthcare and was doing it for the right reasons and not for the money.
Jacob’s problem is that he continues to alienate all of his loved ones without realizing that he’s the biggest problem right along with his corrupt Crows. He could get so much more done if he just worked with Batwoman and Mary instead of riding his high horse and thinking he’s better.
And then he’s surprised that he’s blindsided by everyone’s secrets when he doesn’t even try to get to know his daughters, and when he does pay attention to them, he takes away the things that make them who they are.
What did you think of the episode? Will Ryan find the Dessert Rose in time?
What are your thoughts on Alice and Ocean?
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