In the aftermath of Framing Britney Spears, interest in the star’s story has reached a new peak, with Netflix now said to be producing their own Spears documentary. But is this surge in new content a good thing?
Ever since The New York Times’ Framing Britney Spears documentary aired in the US last week, it’s been all anyone can talk about online.
The insightful new film, which is airing in the UK for the first time tonight, shines a light on Spears’ notorious conservatorship and the wider #FreeBritney movement, which calls for the star to be released from the arrangement and given back full control of her affairs.
According to Bloomberg, the film will be directed by Erin Lee Carr, a specialist in true crime documentaries. The filmmaker has worked on projects such as Mommy Dead and Dearest, HBO’s documentary about the murder of Dee Dee Blanchard, and I Love You, Now Die which chronicled the criminal case against Michelle Carter, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter after persuading her boyfriend, via text, to die by suicide.
Although we don’t know much more about the film currently – including what it might be called – it was believed to be already underway before Framing Britney Spears was released in the US.
However, Netflix isn’t the only one setting out to tell Spears’ story. Alongside the new documentary, there’s also a #FreeBritney podcast on the way from two of the documentary’s contributors according to Deadline – and we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a book or TV series in the works somewhere down the line, too.
While there’s a positive side to so many people being interested in Spears’ story because it shines a light on a struggle she’s historically had to face on her own, there’s also something about this recent surge in Spears related content that doesn’t feel quite right. Of course, this isn’t the first time multiple pieces of content have been released on one subject – Netflix and Hulu both produced documentaries about the Fyre festival scandal at similar times, and over the last couple of years, there have been numerous documentary series and films based around the USA gymnastics sex abuse scandal.
But there’s something about Spears that makes this conversation different. Sure, there’s interest in content surrounding Spears’ life, and The New York Times’ documentary has undoubtedly paved the way for more progressive conversations about tabloid culture.
But Spears is not a criminal or creator of a fraudulent music festival – she is a real woman who is at risk of being exploited (yet again) by this rise in interest in her story. And we need to be aware of how our appetite for ‘new’ content contributes to this.
For now, we can only hope that these new projects have Spears’ best interests at heart, and will endeavor to bring forth new information on the star’s ongoing struggle to reclaim her story.
Of course, getting Spears herself to feature in these new projects and voice her own perspective may not always be possible (the team behind the Framing Britney Spears doc said they reached out to the star, but it was “unclear” whether her father’s control of her career stopped her from seeing those requests), but nevertheless, it’s important that the creators of these projects try to include Spears in these stories as much as they can.
Indeed, if Framing Britney Spears has shown us anything, it’s that women in the public eye have been exploited for far too long.
As Stylist’s junior digital writer, Lauren Geall writes on topics including mental health, wellbeing and work. She’s also a big fan of houseplants and likes to dabble in film and TV from time-to-time.