Is it just us, or were your social feeds and WhatsApp chats on fire about the Framing Britney Spears documentary on social media this past weekend too? We thought so. YouTube links to The New York Times-produced film popped up and disappeared quicker than a BOGOF on Aldi Special Buys, but now, Sky has confirmed the 90-minute programme will air on Sky Documentaries at 9 pm tomorrow (Tuesday 16th February). It will also be available on-demand and on NOW TV.
ICYMI, Framing Britney Spears documents the popstar’s rise to fame in the 90s (yes, that makes us feel old too), her relentless harassment by the paparazzi and subsequent breakdown in the 00s and, more recently, the #FreeBritney movement that has gained pace in response to the 39-year-old’s controversial conservatorship. Following her well-documented breakdown in 2007, Spears was placed under a court-mandated conservatorship, a form of legal guardianship for adults meaning she is not in control of any major life decisions like those relating to finance, medical care or legal issues. Those decisions – and her fortune – were controlled by her father Jamie Spears until a brief hiatus in 2019. Last summer, an appeal by Spears’ lawyers to transfer the conservatorship to her her longtime manager and co-conservator Jodi Montgomergy was refused, and her father remains in control.
The documentary also covers Britney’s high-profile relationship and break-up with Justin Timberlake, who used his Cry Me a River music video to allude that she’d cheated on him, leading TV host Diane Sawyer to ask whether the allegations were true and publicly probe her about her sex life in a 2003 interview. Speaking to Sky, Director Samantha Stark said of the media’s treatment of Britney: “Why did no one say anything or condemn any of this coverage of her back then? It just felt so normalised. And it wasn’t that long ago. So I hope people really take a look at that and about how we treat young women. Number one, I hope people come away with a new understanding of Britney Spears.”
Britney herself doesn’t feature in the documentary, but appeared to acknowledge it in a social media post after its US release, saying: “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.”
Tuesday night just got a lot more interesting.