Britney Spears has been making headlines recently for reasons including rumors about her marriage to Sam Asghari, accusations of staying awake for days, buzz surrounding her social media posts, and reports about her autobiography. The pop superstar became the subject of a new TV special, just over two years after the Framing Britney Spears documentary. The Fox special, called TMZ Investigates: Britney Spears: The Price of Freedom, made some shocking claims that resulted in her fans hitting social media in her defense.
TMZ Investigates: Britney Spears: The Price of Freedom was hyped as taking a look into Spears’ life in the time since her conservatorship was famously lifted, and included commentary from people ranging from physician Dr. Drew Pinsky (who appeared on Fox earlier this year as part of Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test) to singer Paul Anka. In addition, unnamed sources were cited about everything from her mental health to her music career in the hour-long special.
The Fox special was already generating some controversy ahead of its premiere on May 15 due to a video and message posted by Sam Asghari, which has since been deleted but originally criticized those who would “put her under a microscope and tell her story.” Given that Britney Spears’ fans supported a “Free Britney” movement for years before the conservatorship was lifted in 2021, it’s not surprising that some viewers of the Fox special felt compelled to defend the singer.
One person was ready to share their feelings on the special less than fifteen minutes into the broadcast, with some mixed feelings:
Watching this TMZ special on Britney Spears. This whole thing just doesn’t sit right with me. I just want people to leave her alone and let her live her life, but I also hope her mental health is ok.May 16, 2023
For others voicing their defense of Britney Spears, the focus was on what she went through during her long conservatorship, about which the singer has had a lot to say. She has been particularly vocal about the involvement of her family, even comparing her father’s control over her to “sex trafficking.” A fan displeased by the The Price of Freedom special touched on what Spears has stated about her family:
So sad to see @TMZ doing a show on @britneyspears . Why didnt you do shows about her when she was being controlled and financially abused by her family?May 16, 2023
Others on Twitter found themselves thinking about what Britney Spears herself would think about the TMZ special on Fox. The pop star hasn’t spoken or posted about The Price of Freedom at the time of writing, but user @luckybutnoluck noted this after watching:
For yet another fan on social media, an emoji was sufficient to sum up their feelings about the special, and it wasn’t a happy one. They posted:
This Britney Spears special is just…..😩May 16, 2023
The prevailing opinion from fans of Britney Spears who felt the need to defend her after this special can probably be summed up in the short and sweet message from user @kristenc_108 on Twitter:
It seems unlikely that the buzz around Britney Spears will die down any time soon, but she clearly still has passionate supporters on social media who will come to her defense. Only time will tell if either Spears or Sam Asghari acknowledge the documentary special in the wake of its airing in the 2023 TV schedule.
TMZ Investigates: Britney Spears: The Price of Freedom is not the first time that a Britney special has been presented, as two installments of The New York Times Presents’ first season (streaming via Hulu subscription) center on the singer.