How #FreeBritney went from a small fan group to a global movement
“Free Britney” is the rallying cry of Britney Spears fans and supporters.
“On April 22, 2019, I was one of the first people to go to the Britney Spears rally, I guess you could say,” said Grant Rutter, host of the Grant Rants Hollywood Talk podcast.
“I was part of the very first one, we were literally a handful. I was so nervous. I was like ‘they’re literally going to think I’m crazy,'” said Junior supporter Olivas.
The pop star has been under strict guardianship since 2008 after concerns were raised over his mental and physical well-being. Guardianship restricts Spears’ ability to make his own affairs, make medical decisions, and even see his sons.
“It’s one of the things that I think strikes me the most, it’s just that her motherhood has just been ripped off,” #FreeBritney supporter Gibson Erchul said.
“We’re talking about going on for years and years and years and years now. Homegirl wants to do her thing,” said supporter Rachel Schell.
And so the “#FreeBritney” movement was born as a small group of concerned fans.
“‘Free Britney’ was first mentioned on the internet, I would say, in 2009 – shortly after Britney’s guardianship became permanent. I made a homemade t-shirt that said ‘Free Britney’ which I organized during a small mini demonstration, “said supporter Megan Radford:
The movement quickly grew and went viral on social media, propelled by podcasts like “Britney’s Gram”, worried comments on the pop star’s Instagram posts and regarding videos on TikTok.
“The first time it started to generalize a bit was in July 2020, when it kind of blew up on TikTok, I was like, ‘Oh my God, we’re gaining so much momentum. “And then ‘Framing Britney Spears’ just launched us into a whole new world,” Radford said.
“Sometimes we have parades going through my campus, and I take out the tapestry and hold it in front of people just to get the word out,” Erchul said.
The pop star’s father, Jamie Spears, called the “Free Britney” movement a “joke” made up of “conspiracy theorists”, but that hasn’t stopped other prominent celebrities, like Miley Cyrus, Paris. Hilton and Sarah Jessica. Parker – to lend their support.
“It feels good that people recognize this is a messed up situation,” Schell said.
“I really think the public pressure and the Free Britain movement turned everything upside down,” Rutter said.
Spear’s guardianship is still heavily shrouded in compulsory secrecy. Spears said in a court file that he “saved her from a collapse,” but in a court file obtained by The New York Times, an investigator also wrote: “She explained that she believed the guardianship had become an oppressive and controlling tool against it. ”
Now the pop star is fighting to keep her father from having a say in controlling his fortune, estimated at nearly $ 60 million, and possibly even ending the system.
On June 23, she spoke for the first time in two years before a judge.
“I hope we give her the courage to say what she wants to say,” Radford said.
“Only she knows what her reality is. So I hope she presents herself in the best way. And I hope that what she wants for herself and the best happens to her,” Rutter said.
This story originally reported by Casey Mendoza on Newsy.com