Love for Britney Spears is late in coming, but powerful

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Britney Spears has been the subject of cruel jokes in the past, but times have changed.

After the New York Times documentary “Framing Britney Spears” debuted on Hulu last week, there has been an outpouring of love and sympathy for the pop star from both fans and fellow celebs.
Rightfully so, given how the film captures her success, struggles and the intense media scrutiny she has faced over the years.
    The doc is rooted in the #FreeBritney movement, fueled by an anonymous caller to “Britney’s Gram: The Podcast” in 2019 who claimed that Spears entered a mental health facility against her will, something her reps have denied.
    The movement to try and end the lengthy conservatorship Spears has been under is indicative of society’s shifting attitudes toward mental health and gender equity.
    It is pointed out in “Framing Britney Spears” that a male star may not have been treated the same as Spears, such as being labeled “crazy” and having a court appoint someone to oversee both her finances and her life.
    Here are some of the people who are now facing the most criticism since the doc started streaming:
    Britney Spears' father, Jamie Spears, leaves the Los Angeles County Superior courthouse on March 10, 2008.

    Jamie Spears: The star’s father has long been the subject of ire from those who don’t think he should be conservator over his daughter’s estate, and the documentary does not paint him in the best light.
    The elder Spears has defended his actions.
    “When a family member needs special care and protection, families need to step up, as I have done for the last 12-plus years, to safeguard, protect and continue to love Britney unconditionally,” Jamie Spears told CNN in December. “I have and will continue to provide unwavering love and fierce protection against those with self-serving interests and those who seek to harm her or my family.”
    Britney Spears (right) and then-boyfriend Justin Timberlake (left) arrive at the premiere of her movie "Crossroads" at the Mann Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on February 11, 2002.

    Justin Timberlake: Lots of people have taken to social media urging Timberlake to apologize to Ms. Spears, whom he dated from 1999 to 2002.
    The documentary revisits what happened after their breakup, including the perception that Spears may have been unfaithful to Timberlake based on interviews he gave, as well as the music video for his song “Cry Me a River,” which told a tale of cheating and included a Spears look-alike.
    Some on Twitter are now accusing Timberlake of misogyny and making her life more difficult at the time. He has not publicly commented.
    Britney Spears attends the Diesel StyleLab Spring/Summer 2004 Fashion Show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Bryant Park September 17, 2003, in New York City.

    The paparazzi: Millions were made by photographers at the height of what looked to be a public meltdown by Spears in 2007, making her an even more sought-after subject than she previously had been.
    Watching the cameras flash away and seeing a clearly distraught Spears being crowded by paparazzi over and over is disturbing.
    Diane Sawyer is under fire from Britney Spears fans for her 2003 interview with the pop star on ABC's "Primetime."

    Diane Sawyer: The longtime TV journalist has been the subject of backlash from viewers because of a clip from her 2003 “Primetime” interview with Spears, in which Sawyer asked her about Kendel Ehrlich, former first lady of Maryland and wife of then-Gov. Robert Erhlich, saying “… really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears I think I would.”
    Sawyer’s comment about the quote — that it was “because of the example for kids and how hard it is to be a parent” — rubbed some the wrong way, though the media as a whole is being slammed for the amount of coverage devoted to Spears as she appeared to spiral.
    I’ve written before about celebrity, mental health and the need for compassion, which very much factors into the Spears story.
    But much in the same way she helped change the image of teen pop stars with her sexy outfits and determination to be herself and not just what the industry wanted her to be, the new documentary is a reminder that Spears also has helped to change attitudes about how much celebrities owe to their fans.
    In her case, it’s the fans who have rallied around Spears to assist in getting back the power over her life they believe she is being denied.

    For your weekend

    Three things to watch:
    Noah Centineo (left) and Lana Condor (right) are shown in a scene from "To All the Boys: Always and Forever."

    ‘To All the Boys: Always and Forever’
    The third film in the “To All the Boys” franchise should make fans of the earlier two pretty happy.
    What started with an old love letter turned into a new romance. In the new film, will viewers learn what the future holds for Lara Jean Covey (played by Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo)?
    “To All the Boys: Always and Forever” starts streaming on Netflix Friday.
    Daniel Kaluuya stars as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in "Judas and the Black Messiah."

    ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’
    “Get Out” stars Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield reunite for this film about Black Panther leader Fred Hampton (played by Kaluuya) and the man who infiltrated his group at the behest of the FBI, William O’Neal (played by Stanfield).
    It’s a powerful film that resonates during this current time of racial reckoning.
    “Judas and the Black Messiah” comes to theaters and HBO Max (which is owned by CNN’s parent company) Friday.
    The first episode of the CNN six-part series "Lincoln: Divided We Stand" airs Sunday.

    ‘Lincoln: Divided We Stand’
    “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown narrates this CNN six-episode series that “takes a holistic approach to the remarkable and unexpected story of Abraham Lincoln by delving into his complicated inner world, seamlessly interweaving his tragic personal life with his history-making political career.”
    The first episode airs on CNN Sunday.
    Two things to listen to:
    Robin Thicke's latest album is "On Earth, and in Heaven."

    Robin Thicke is back with his first album in six years. “I feel like I’m finally the person I set out to be,” he said in a news release.
    “When I saw the phrase ‘On Earth, and in Heaven,’ I realized that’s what I’m singing about: the people who aren’t here and the people who are here that made me who I am,” he said. “This music is the sunshine coming out after the rain.”
    In the past few years, the singer both lost his father, actor Alan Thicke, and went through a divorce with actress Paula Patton.
    “On Earth, and in Heaven” drops Friday.
    Sia's ninth studio album is tied to her directorial debut, which is not without controversy.

    The film “Music” is singer Sia’s directorial debut so it makes sense she would also do the soundtrack.
    “Music — Songs From and Inspired by the Motion Picture” comes out Friday and accompanies the film about an autistic youth, played by Sia’s muse, dancer Maddie Ziegler (a casting choice that sparked some controversy).
    Naturally, the movie is a musical.
    One thing to talk about:
    Chris Hemsworth is shown in a scene from "Avengers: Endgame."

    Who says Hollywood is always glamorous?
    This week CNN’s Toyin Owoseje wrote about how Chris Hemsworth’s stunt double is struggling to pick up the weight needed for him to body double the actor as Thor.
    Apparently, Hemsworth is even buffer than usual in “Thor: Love and Thunder.” The film is currently filming in Australia, and Bobby Holland Hanton is having to eat seven meals a day to keep up and bulk up.
    That doesn’t sound like the worst thing, but Hanton isn’t enjoying having to hammer down all those meals.
    “Every two hours we’re eating. It’s become a chore,” he told an Australian radio station. “I don’t enjoy eating at all every two hours.”

    Something to sip on

    Tessica Brown  of Louisiana went viral on social media after posting about her unfortunate styling mishap.

    “They’ll hail you, then nail you.”
    So sings Lauryn Hill in her single “Superstar.” This is all too often the fate of those who go viral.
    Take Tessica Brown, a Louisiana woman who is now famous for having stuck her hair to her scalp by way of Gorilla Glue spray, which she used as a hack when she ran out of her holding spray.
    What started out as funny to many quickly turned to concern as Brown found that she could not get her hair out of the slicked-back, fake ponytail she had been wearing for more than a month. Celebs rallied around her, a GoFundMe account was set up and she became verified on social media as many (myself included) became emotionally invested in her struggle.
      Then the tide changed with some accusing Brown of doing it all for publicity and any donations that may come her way.
      Regardless, I’m still rooting (no pun intended).




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