The #FreeBritney Movement, the Conservatorship, and the Conspiracy Theories

Britney Spears has been through many public ups and downs in her life. The one constant and stable aspect for Spears is her robust fan following. Now, during the battle of Spears’ conservatorship, her fans have mobilized and started the #FreeBritney movement.

If you weren’t aware, a conservatorship is basically a court ruling which allows a guardian can take control of all or certain aspects of a person’s life if they are deemed unable to do so on their own. Spears has been locked in a conservatorship, with her father in complete control, for about 12 years. She has tried to dispute the conservatorship, her latest attempt being earlier this month, but has been unsuccessful. Her father is in control of her estate, personal assets, and almost $60 million fortune. The conservatorship has been extended to February 2021, and if she does not comply she can lose everything, including custody of her children.

So it’s no surprise that diehard fans are reading deep into every move Spears makes—maybe even too deep sometimes. The #FreeBritney movement has grown so large that it has over 120k posts on Instagram, its own Reddit thread, and even celebrity participation.

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A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears)

The conspiracy theories that have emerged from the #FreeBrtiney movement are quite shocking. One specific and somehow believable theory is based on Spears’ social media posts. This spring, Spears started posting bizarre videos on her socials in which she appeared a little spastic and disheveled. Fans started looking into this and commenting with questions, worried that her father was keeping her hostage. One fan commented “If you need help wear yellow in your next video,” and sure enough, the pop star wore yellow in the following post.

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A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears)

Other theories go even further. Some believe the music choice in her posts signal a secret message; others point to a post where she’s holding a hat with a smudge on it that some say spells out “help.”

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A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears)

Other celebrities are in on the #FreeBritney movement, too. Miley Cyrus is known for being outspoken about the movement, even shouting “free Britney” at her shows. Rose McGowan recently posted a photo commemorating the late Britney Murphy, but added that she wants to “free all the Britneys.” She wrote “There’s another Britney on my mind today, too, one that is alive, one that can be saved from the leeches that are controlling and trafficking her. Free all the Britneys and all those who get hurt by the trauma of Hollywood values and toxic ‘rules.’ #FreeBritney”

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A post shared by Rose McGowan (@rosemcgowan)

Since the renewal of the conservatorship, it’s hard to determine what’s next for Spears. Until the review in February, fans will still be critical of her every move trying to determine whether she needs rescuing. It’s inevitable that more conspiracy theories are going to grow along with the #FreeBritney movement.

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