Why Britney Spears’s fans are convinced she’s being held captive – By Constance Grady (VOX) / Nov 11 2020
The #FreeBritney movement, explained.
Since 2008, indelible bubble gum pop star Britney Spears has been confined by a conservatorship that leaves her without control of her finances, business, or personal affairs. And for the past year or so, her fans have been speculating with increasing fervor that the conservatorship has left Spears, now 38, a prisoner in her own glamorous life and that she is in need of rescue.
“She has NEVER had control over her life,” said a post on the celebrity-focused Instagram Diet Prada that spread rapidly across the internet early in July. “I don’t care if you personally like her or her music, NO ONE DESERVES THIS.” The post ended with a now familiar rallying cry: Free Britney.
#FreeBritney is the hashtag Spears’s fans use to follow rumors about her conservatorship — under which Spears answers to a mandated caregiver — and to advocate for its end. Together, they compare notes on anonymous reports about Spears’s living situation, pore through the posts her friends and relatives have “liked” recently, and work to decode Spears’s enigmatic social media presence. In April 2020, they held a protest in Los Angeles demanding Spears be released.
And this summer, Spears added her own voice to the fray. On August 18, she filed court papers calling for her father to step down.