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Controlling Britney Spears Documentary on Hulu: Everything to Know Before Watching

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Few documentaries about musicians have made a bigger splash than The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears, which helped reignite a movement upon its release in February 2021.

Fans flocked to Hulu to see what all the Britney buzz was about—and what they found was a gripping, emotional story about the rise and fall of an American pop music icon.

As Britney Spears’ battle to end her court-mandated conservatorship presses onward, and the #FreeBritney movement continues to gain recognition, The New York Times is set to release a follow-up documentary titled Controlling Britney Spears on Friday, September 24 at 10PM ET.

Here’s everything you need to know about Britney Spears’ conservatorship, what to expect from the new documentary, and how to watch Controlling Britney Spears on Hulu.

What is Controlling Britney Spears about?

Britney Spears wearing butterfly wings

In a confidential 2016 report, Britney Spears told a court investigator that her conservatorship had become “an oppressive and controlling tool against her.” But how exactly the conservatorship has controlled her life has never been revealed—until now.

In this latest New York Times investigation, interviews with insiders who had intimate knowledge of Britney’s life inside the conservatorship reveal a portrait of an intense surveillance apparatus that monitored every move she made. 

Where can I watch the new Britney Spears documentary?

Both of The New York Times Presents Britney Spears documentaries are available to stream on Hulu: 

In addition to Britney’s story, Hulu subscribers can unlock more essential episodes of The New York Times Presents documentaries, like The Killing of Breonna Taylor, The Teenager Who Hacked Twitter, and more.

Not currently a Hulu subscriber? Get your first month free when you sign-up.*

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Why does Britney Spears have a conservatorship?

The Britney Spears case may be the first instance that you’ve heard of a conservatorship. So, what is a conservatorship? And why does Britney have one in the first place?

Conservatorships are a form of legal guardianship for adults, typically granted when the conservatee is mentally incapacitated or unable to make decisions on their own behalf. 

In the midst of Britney’s highly-publicized mental health struggles in 2008 (covered in-depth in the first NYT documentary, Framing Britney Spears), her father, Jaime Spears, petitioned for an emergency temporary conservatorship, which granted him control of Britney’s estate and health. 

Britney Spears’ Conservatorship Timeline

We get it—it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the updates in Britney Spears’ conservatorship case. These are the dates and facts you absolutely need to know.

Conservatorship Established: February 2008

Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, was named conservator of “her person” in February 2008, as well as co-conservator of her estate with attorney Andrew Wallet. The conservatorship, which was initially intended to be temporary, was extended indefinitely in October of 2008. 

Although Jamie stepped back as Britney’s conservator due to health issues in 2019, he was reinstated as co-conservator, alongside Bessemer Trust Company, shortly after.

In August 2020, Britney asked that her father be removed as the sole conservator of her estate, at which time the conservatorship was extended until February 1, 2021, and then again until September 3, 2021, according to ET.

The New York Times documentaries investigate the legal basis for Britney’s conservatorship, as well as the extent to which Jamie has control over Britney’s finances, health, career, and freedom.

Framing Britney Spears Hulu Documentary Released: February 2021

Thirteen years after the conservatorship was established, Framing Britney Spears was released on Friday, February 5, 2021. The documentary features interviews with members of the pop superstar’s inner circle and legal counsel, who unearth new information and perspective on Britney’s ongoing court battle.

Following the documentary premiere, fans and fellow celebrities rallied in support of Britney, breathing new life into the #FreeBritney movement.

Britney Spears’ Testimony in Court: June 2021

Britney gave a shocking, emotional testimony on June 23, 2021, pleading with the court to end her conservatorship and stating “I am traumatized.” 

In the weeks following her testimony, several parties resigned from the conservatorship, including Bessemer Trust, Larry Rudolph (Britney’s manager of 25+ years), and her lawyer Samuel D. Ingham. 

Spears’ court address even inspired a bipartisan bill, the FREE Act, which was introduced to Congress to protect Americans under conservatorships from exploitation and abuse.

Jamie Spears Files to End Conservatorship: September 2021

On September 7, 2021, Jamie Spears filed a petition to end the conservatorship. 

Court documents state: “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” 

The court is expected to decide whether or not to remove Jamie Spears as conservator on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

Britney Spears’ Instagram Goes Offline: September 2021

On September 14, 2021, the pop princess stunned the world with her—absence of social media posts. Gone were the dance videos and red rose emojis, but for very good reason. 

In a Twitter announcement, she assured fans that the hiatus from Instagram was nothing to worry about and just a week later she returned, fresh off a weekend of celebrating her engagement to long-time boyfriend Sam Asghari. 

Controlling Britney Spears Hulu Documentary Released: September 2021

Looking for more insight on Britney’s life and the evolving court case? Stream the new documentary Controlling Britney Spears on Hulu.

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