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A “Disgusting” List Of Tell-All Documentaries About Britney Spears Surfaced On Twitter And It’s Sparked A Debate About Exploitation

“I’ve always been so judged, insulted, and embarrassed by the media, and I still am till this day.”

Posted on April 23, 2021, at 8:19 a.m. ET

After a New York Times documentary dissected the career of Britney Spears earlier this year, networks and studios are clamoring to release tell-all exposés of their own about the singer amid her reported battle against her conservatorship.

Valerie Macon / Getty Images

Back in February, Framing Britney Spears was released to the world, and its contents quickly dominated online discussion.

Hulu

The documentary took a look back at the iconic singer’s legendary career, detailing the intense paparazzi intrusion and media speculation she’s faced over the years, and how fans were fighting to “free Britney” from the conservatorship she’d been placed under after her 2007 breakdown.

The exploitation and harassment of famous women in the aughts was one of the main talking points following the documentary, with many viewers left shocked at the level of press intrusion these celebrities endured.

Star

In the last few months, the same discussion and debate has arisen regarding multiple stars, including Paris Hilton.

However, despite the documentary apparently aiming to reexamine this time period and hold people accountable, some viewers raised questions about whether it continued the exploitation of Britney. And, with a slew of other tell-all projects reportedly in the works, the question is — who are they really helping?

Gabe Ginsberg / FilmMagic

Britney herself had kept her thoughts about the documentary private following its release, but last month she revealed she was “embarrassed” by it and had cried for weeks as a result.

“My life has always been very speculated, watched, and judged really my whole life,” she said in an Instagram post. “I have been exposed my whole life performing in front of people.”

“It takes a lot of strength to TRUST the universe with your real vulnerability cause I've always been so judged, insulted, and embarrassed by the media, and I still am till this day,” she went on. “As the world keeps on turning and life goes on we still remain so fragile and sensitive as people!”

“I didn’t watch the documentary but from what I did see of it I was embarrassed by the light they put me in,” the 39-year-old added. “I cried for two weeks and I still cry sometimes.”

But, despite Britney’s reluctance to see her private life aired so publicly once more, various other documentaries are apparently in the works, once again raising the question of whether they’re helping the singer or just exploiting her further.

J. Merritt / Getty Images

In a recent tweet from a fan account, it was revealed that no fewer than four projects have apparently been green-lit, including one for the BBC and another for Netflix.

In fact, the BBC’s effort — titled The Battle for Britney: Fans, Cash and a Conservatorship — is due for release in a matter of days, and reportedly will air interviews with people “on both sides of the issue.”

But there’s one person glaringly absent in the documentary’s list of contributors — Britney herself.

In response to news about the documentaries, fans made their opinions known, calling them “disgusting” and accusing the studios of “exploiting her troubles again.”

@spears_central disgusting, now everyone are making documentaries about britney to earn money of her fame, pretty much the same money hungry fucks that chased her around with cameras in 2006-2007... don't you see it? one documentary was enough, highlighting a problem, now its just abusive.

Twitter: @DarkoneTweets

@spears_central Exploiting her troubles again

Twitter: @Dryad821

Another, who claimed to have worked for documentary companies in the past, said that they “didn’t even talk about her well-being” when discussing the prospect of a new film.

i really hate documentary companies. i last worked in one in 2019/2020 and when the britney stuff was starting to become more popular they didn't even talk about her well-being, they just kept talking about how they can make it into a film. these people really don't care https://t.co/sGWSBBaAvh

Twitter: @mikechvng

Others said the documentaries were not “offering any real help” and were instead just repeating the cycle from 2007 under the guise of trying to help and shed light on the matter.

This is not what she needs. They are doing exactly what the media did years ago: exploiting her and not offering any real help. https://t.co/yZgAYcg3Pi

Twitter: @audreyhorned

At the end of Framing Britney Spears, a note explained that the production team had reached out to the singer for the documentary but had not heard back. In fact, they weren’t even sure if she’d actually received the request.

Hulu

“Most of the time...if I want to interview somebody who’s famous, I would call up their publicist and say, ‘Can you send this request to this person?’” Samantha Stark, the director of Framing Britney Spears, told Entertainment Tonight. “A lot of times, the person will review it and give it back to the publicist. But we’re unclear whether that happened.”

“We went through those usual places, and then we also went through people who know her or know people who know her to get requests in,” she went on. “So we asked in several different ways, but it is still unclear if she definitely got them. We tried everything. Nothing.”

But Britney’s recent response to the documentary begs the question: Did she fail to receive the request, or simply decide against participating in a documentary that she hadn’t authorized in the first place?

One thing is clear: Britney will speak about her own life and career when she’s ready to. In the meantime, she’s happy to enjoy her life privately and away from the glare of a million cameras.

“Each person has their story and their take on other people’s stories!” she wrote in an Instagram post a few days after the release of Framing Britney Spears. “Remember, no matter what we think we know about a person’s life it is nothing compared to the actual person living behind the lens.”

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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