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#FreeBritney Protests Break Out in West Hollywood

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  • Protestors in West Hollywood are fighting to get Britney Spears out of her decades-long conservatorship with her father.
  • Earlier in the month, reports claimed that the singer checked herself into a mental health facility, but fans believe she might be there against her will.
  • Many also believe her father made her go there months before we knew she was checked in.

#FreeBritney Protest in West Hollywood

Britney Spears fans gathered for a #FreeBritney protest in West Hollywood on Monday to fight the singer’s conservatorship with her father.

This protest follows Britney’s recent admission to a mental health facility at the beginning of April. Reports say the singer was experiencing emotional distress because her father, Jamie Spears, has been struggling with severe health issues. However, some fans believe that Britney did not enter the facility on her own, and is being forced to be there.

Since 2008, Jamie has been Britney’s conservator. This gives him control over her finances, assets, estate, and personal life. He shared estate control with attorney Andrew Wallet until Wallet resigned in March.

Conservatorships are court-ordered and are mainly used when someone is in a coma, suffering from dementia, or has another very serious illness that makes them incapable of making judgments. Fans started #FreeBritney to remove her from the conservatorship, as they think it gives Jamie too much power in the pop star’s life and gives him the ability to abuse her finances.

“We just kind of believe that through the proof of her work, that through the past X number of years, that she’s proven herself that she’s capable of being her own person,” said co-host of the Britney’s Gram podcast, Barbara Gray, who attended the protest. “We can’t speak exactly to her mental health, but we can speak to what we’ve seen as fans and as the public, and what she’s able to do. And it’s obvious that she shouldn’t be under that control.”

How #FreeBritney Started

While Britney has been a conservatee of Jamie’s for over a decade, theories on how he might be using this power started when she canceled her second Vegas residency in January. Soon after announcing the show, she said needed to spend time with her father and help him recover from surgery.

“A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died,” she wrote on Instagram. “We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time.”

View this post on Instagram

I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make. A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand. More information on ticket refunds is available on britneyspears.com. I appreciate your prayers and support for my family during this time. Thank you, and love you all… always.

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Fans were suspicious and found her decision to be abrupt. Their suspicions were only furthered after the hitmaker went off the grid. For several months, there were no public sightings of the well-documented star, and her Instagram remained vacant of new content.

News that Wallet would be leaving his role as an attorney, handing sole conservatorship off to Jamie, broke during this time. However, there was still no sign of Britney.

The early-April, reports of Britney checking into a mental health facility hit the internet. On April 3, she posted a quote to Instagram and captioned it, “We all need to take time for a little “me time.” :)” Fans found the post to be off-brand for the star, leading them to believe she was not there on her own admission, and that her dad pulled the strings to enter her to the center.

Tip on Britney’s Gram Podcast

The theories only grew from there. On an April 18 episode of Britney’s Gram, the hosts reveal they received a tip on Britney’s status. While the source was anonymous, Gram and co-host Tess Barker said they verified his credibility. The call came from a man who claimed to be a paralegal in the office working on Britney’s conservatorship case.

In his tip, he backed up many of the fan theories that were circulating on social media. He said that while Britney was rehearsing for her second Vegas residency, Jamie learned she was not taking her medications as prescribed. He told her she could take her medication, meet with a doctor to find a new medicine program, or cancel the show. When she refused the first two options, Jamie did the latter and chose to blame it on his health.

The source also said that while the public only learned about her treatment in April, she actually had been in the facility since January, when the tour was canceled.

“She did not want to go,” he added. “From what I understand, this is not a decision she made, at all.”

One the same day, however, an article from the Blast cites a source who claims the songstress “would be dead” if she had not been checked in.

Where Are We Now?

Since Britney has been checked into the mental health facility, there have been two sightings of her in public. The most recent, for an Easter outing, left fans worried.

They think the singer looks out of sorts, and like her health is on the decline, based on the paparazzi photos.

The Britney’s Gram podcast has reported that Britney has filed a motion in court this year, potentially regarding her conservatorship. However, the court records on this are sealed, so this is not verified.

As of now, no one on Britney’s team has commented on the protests or the #FreeBritney movement.

See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (Entertainment Tonight) (Forbes)

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Alabama Public Television Refuses to Air Arthur Episode Featuring Same-Sex Marriage

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  • The season premiere of the animated series “Arthur” earlier this month featured a same-sex wedding between Arthur’s teacher Mr. Ratburn and his partner, a chocolatier named Patrick.
  • The episode was met with much praise from LGBTQ rights supporters, but Alabama Public Television decided not to air the episode.
  • APT said parents trust that their children can watch without supervision and since most parents might not have heard about the content, the network decided that airing it would be “a violation of trust.”

“Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone”

Alabama Public Television decided not to air PBS’ recent episode of the animated series “Arthur,” which featured a same-sex marriage.

The episode entitled “Mr.Ratburn and the Special Someone,” is the first of the show’s 22nd season. In it, Arthur’s third-grade teacher Mr.Ratburn, marries his partner, a chocolatier named Patrick at a wedding attended by some of his students.

The show aired across the nation on May 13 and was met with widespread praise from LGBTQ rights supporters. However, Alabama Public Television (APT) decided against airing the episode.

Mike McKenzie, director of programming at APT, told NBC News that PBS sent a message to stations in mid-April alerting them “to possible viewer concerns about the content of the program.”

McKenzie and others at APT viewed the episode and decided not to broadcast it. Instead APT chose to air a re-run. “Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie said in an email to AL.com.

“More importantly — although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards — parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for ‘Arthur’ also watch the program.”

McKenzie went on to say that if they aired the program, APT would take away the choice of parents who felt it was inappropriate content for their children to watch.

“The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not,” he said. “Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode.”

In a phone call with TheWrap, McKenzie explained a bit further saying, “Our concern is with the subject matter, the marriage of Mr. Ratburn and the other gentleman.”

“We have a fairly large number of people who have a problem with teaching that to their children.”

As of now, the network has no plans to air the episode at a later time. According to McKenzie, parents who want to share the episode with their children can access the episode online at pbs.org.

Reactions

The news sparked outrage on social media. In several tweets criticizing the decision, many users referenced Alabama’s new abortion law that prohibits the procedure at any stage of pregnancy, making no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Others called the move an act of censorship

Similar Moves

This is not the first time APT has refused to air an “Arthur” episode featuring a same-sex couple. According to AL.com, in 2005 the network pulled an episode in which the character Buster visited a girl who had two mothers.

At the time, then-executive director Allan Pizzato issued a similar statement saying,“’Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming. This program doesn’t fit into that.”

See what others are saying: (AL.com) ((TheWrap) NBC News)


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Game of Thrones Finale Leaves Some Fans Disappointed

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  • Game of Thrones ended its run on Sunday night and after eight seasons some fans were left confused and disappointed by the ending.
  • On top of that, there were more out-of-universe beverages left on-screen, except this time instead of a Starbucks cup, two water bottles snuck their way into the show.
  • Some fans are hoping that the book series, which has not yet concluded, will do a better job of closing the story, but they might still be disappointed.

The End

The ending of last night’s finale for Game of Thrones left some fans complaining about the writing once again and incited new frustrations over two water bottles that made it on-screen.

After the questionable choices made in last week’s episode, many fans were expecting to be disappointed by the ending and oh boy were they. This isn’t really surprising since the petition to redo season 8 withcompetent writers” now has more than one million signatures.

Source: Change.org

It’s also probably the reason why showrunner David Benioff told Entertainment Weekly that he and D.B. Weiss planned to spend the finale “drunk and far away from the Internet.”

After finding out who would sit on the Iron Throne, fans complained that the ending ignored foreshadowing from previous seasons.

However there were some people that felt the ending stayed true to the characters and followed through on what was set up.

On Rotten Tomatoes Season 8 is the lowest rated season with about 70 percent compared to every other season that has more than 90 percent approval. Sunday’s episode specifically has a score of 58 percent, which is still not the lowest rated of this season. That spot is still claimed by last week’s episode, “The Bells.”

Out-of-Universe Beverages Part II: The Water Bottles

To add to the frustrations around the season, there were two water bottles left on-screen during the same scene. Though unlike the Starbucks cup that has since been digitally removed, both of the water bottles were partially hidden underneath chairs and behind legs.

What About the Books?

Amid all of the complaints and calls for a rewrite, some are hoping that the books behind the series will have a better ending since the show raced ahead of where author George R. R. Martin left off a few seasons ago.

Martin told Weiss and Benioff his plans for how he imagined the story should continue, however, the writers still made some narrative changes.

Even so, the changes might not be too far off from how the book series will close. In an interview with 60 Minutes last month, Martin said, “I don’t think Dan and Dave’s ending is gonna be that different from my ending.”

So, for now, fans will have to wait and see if the books will end in a more satisfying way, especially after the response the final season faced.

See what others are saying: (Fox News) (New York Times) (AV Club)

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Over 500,000 Fans Sign Petition to Redo Latest Game of Thrones Season With “Competent Writers”

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  • Following a particularly upsetting episode of Game of Thrones, some fans are calling for the final season to be completely redone with “competent writers.”
  • One petition on change.org has more than 500,000 signatures.

Petitions

After a few rocky episodes of Game of Thrones, some fans are voicing their displeasure by signing petitions to redo the season with new writers to replace David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

One Change.org petition that says Weiss and Benioff are “woefully incompetent writers,” has more than 500,000 signatures. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”

Source: Change.org

There is one hidden gem among the handful of other petitions with fewer signatures calling for a redo. That petition wants to “Hire Hannah Waddingham to walk behind D&D (Game of Thrones Producers)”

And it only has 3,800 signatures? SHAME!

Disappointed Fans

The episode that aired last weekend titled “The Bells,” really missed a lot of peoples’ expectations for the ending of the series. Episode 3 “The Long Night,” drew complaints about the lighting in some scenes being too dark.

Then there was that infamous Starbucks cup situation, where a cup was accidentally left in a scene.

There have also been complaints about pacing. Some say that in the last few seasons the show has had a faster pace than before. Others say this new season is a let down after seven seasons of build up, but the episodes are still averaging 43 million viewers per episode.

See what others are saying: (People) (Fox News) (CNN)

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