‘Framing Britney Spears’: The Lengthy Struggle to ‘Free Britney’

Producer / director Samantha Stark

Watch it on Friday, February 5th at 10pm on FX and streaming on Hulu.

“My client told me she was afraid of her father,” Britney Spears’ court-appointed attorney told a judge in November. “She won’t perform again if her father is in charge of her career.”

The career of one of music’s greatest superstars – and in some ways their life – stands still.

The country was fascinated by Spears in the 1990s when she suddenly rose to become a global superstar. Then the public seemed to enjoy watching their personal struggles and turning their lives into fodder for late night talk show zingers, sensational interviewers, and a thriving tabloid industry.

That was a long time ago. These days, Spears endures a strange, and perhaps even darker, chapter: she lives under a court-approved conservatory, her rights are restricted. She has no control over the fortune she has earned as an actress.

Spears entered the Conservatory in 2008 at the age of 26 when her fights were shown publicly. She is now 39 and a growing number of her fans are agitating on her behalf, raising questions about civil liberties and trying to figure out what Spears wants.

A new full-length documentary from The New York Times reveals what the public may not know about the nature of Spears’ conservatory and her legal battle with her father over who should control her assets.

The documentary “Framing Britney Spears” features interviews with key insiders, including:

  • A lifelong friend of the family who has spent much of her career with Spears

  • the marketing director who originally created the Spears image

  • A lawyer currently working at the Conservatory

  • and attorney Spears tried to challenge her father in the early days of the conservatory

The new film about FX and Hulu also examines the avid fan base who believe Spears should be exempted from the Conservatory and re-examines how the media treated one of the greatest pop stars of all time.

Editor-in-chief Liz Day
Manufacturer Liz Hodes
camera operator Emily Topper
Video editors Geoff O’Brien and Pierre Takal
Associate producer Melanie Bencosme

The New York Times Presents is a series of documentaries depicting the unprecedented journalism and insight of the New York Times, bringing viewers to the essential stories of our time.

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