Music

Britney Spears Has Called The Many Documentaries Made About Her “Hypocritical”, And She’s Right

The new documentaries about Britney Spears are just as exploitative as the tabloids that followed her when she was younger.

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Britney Spears has taken to Instagram to call out the many documentaries made about her over the last 12 months, branding them as “hypocritical”.

The most high profile release under target by Spears is Framing Britney Spears, produced by The New York Times, released in February this year. Relying on necessarily scant sources — Spears’ life is currently tied up in a huge amount of legal red tape — the documentary posited that the singer is under something like house arrest, her decisions no longer her own, and her autonomy dangerously controlled by her father Jamie Spears.

Since the success of Framing Britney Spears, there has been a deluge of documentaries made about the singer’s life, in particular the controversial conservatorship that she has been placed under. The newest documentary, The Battle for Britney: Fans, Cash and a Conservatorship, follows a similar line to Framing Britney Spears and argues that Spears needs her autonomy returned to her.

For her part, Spears has responded to these documentaries with hedged concern. “So many documentaries about me this year with other people’s takes on my life,” Spears wrote on Instagram. “What can I say … I’m deeply flattered!!!! These documentaries are so hypocritical … they criticize the media and then do the same thing.”

In the hours since Spears’ comments have been aired online, some fans have assumed that the words are not her own, reinforcing the theory that all of Spears’ public-facing sentiments are also being controlled by her father.

 

 

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But it is worth taking the words seriously. These new documentaries follow a pattern that the media has always taken with Spears, approaching her as a curio and limiting her own stake in her life. She is still, as she was always taken to be, a spectacle — and a spectacle is always dehumanised. It’s important for these documentary-makers to keep in mind that there is a real person underneath the layers of red tape and controversy, not just an opportunity to generate media attention — articles, in essence, like this one.

Simply put, Britney Spears deserves respect — especially from the people who are most urgently calling for her to be freed.