- #FreeBritney is popping up on social media again as fans rally behind Britney Spears ahead of a hearing reportedly set for Wednesday over the future of her conservatorship.
- The singer has been under a conservatorship for 12 years, which gave her father and an attorney control over her finances, health, and essentially her daily life.
- After both stepped down last year, her care manager Jodi Montgomery temporarily took over, with the conservatorship set to end on August 22.
- In recent weeks, fans have been sharing a petition asking for Congress to intervene and release her from the conservatorship.
- Others have turned to her younger sister Jamie Lynn for answers, but she said she has no right to speak about Britney’s mental health and will not speak out just to clarify things to the public “when the person it pertains to does not want that to happen.”
The #FreeBritney movement is popping up all over social media again as fans rally behind singer Britney Spears ahead of her conservatorship hearing reportedly set for Wednesday.
If you haven’t been keeping up with Britney over the last several years, you might not know that she actually has very little control of her own life. In fact, that’s been the case for about 12 years because she was placed under a conservatorship in 2008 after she was put on an involuntary psychiatric hold.
Conservatorships are court-orders and are mainly used when someone is in a coma, suffering from dementia, or has another serious illness that makes them incapable of making judgments. At the time, a court placed her under the conservatorship of her dad Jamie and an attorney named Andrew Wallet. This meant they had control over her estate and needed to sign off on every decision in her life, from business to health, finances, and even marriage.
But it’s not just big decisions. This conservatorship impacts her daily routine. A 2016 New York Times article reported, “Her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control.“
Fans have taken a huge issue with this because they think it gives her father and Wallet too much control over her life and the ability to abuse her finances Some think she’s mentally fit enough to be in control herself, others think she isn’t getting the right care she needs and is being exploited.
In general, thoughts on this situation vary, but most want to see her released from conservatorship. Still, there’s not a lot we know about the inner workings of her situation or her health, and she has continued to live this way for years.
Flash forward to 2019, when the #FreeBritney movement really took off online. In January of that year, fans were surprised when Britney canceled her second Vegas residency, saying she needed to spend time with her father and help him recover from surgery.
Fans were suspicious, especially after she pretty much went off the grid. There were no public sightings of her and she stopped posting on Instagram.
Then in March of that year, Wallet resigned as a co-conservator, handing sole control off to her father, which concerned people. In early April, reports said Britney had checked into a mental health facility. A few days later, she posted a quote to Instagram and captioned it, “We all need to take time for a little ‘me time.’ :)”
Fans thought it didn’t match her typical posting style and began speculating that something wasn’t right. Later that month, the podcast Britney’s Gram said it received a voicemail from a paralegal source that claimed it worked for an attorney on Britney’s case. That source claimed Britney was placed in a facility against her will by Jamie. They claimed that during her Vegas residency rehearsals, he learned she was refusing to take her medications and told her she could either take them, meet with a doctor for a new type of medication, or cancel the Vegas shows. When she refused the first two options, he allegedly chose the latter and blamed it on his health.
However, around the same time, the Blast cited a source that said the singer “would be dead” if she had not checked in. Still, the movement picked up steam at this point, with fans even holding a protest outside West Hollywood City Hall in April.
All the concerns prompted Britney to make a post telling fans she was doing well and would return soon. That really didn’t convince people though because many assume her social media is monitored.
Eventually, she did finish treatment and return to her regular type of Instagram content. Ever since, people have been trying to look for clues in her posts or secret signals that show she’s in distress. However, that seems to have also sparked both concerns based in reality as well as a bunch of wild conspiracy theories.
Then in September, Jamie filed a request to temporarily relieve himself of the role for “personal health reasons.” At this point, Britney’s care manager Jodi Montgomery took over, and because of the coronavirus pandemic, that temporary conservatorship was extended in April of this year until August 22.
What’s Happening Now and Jamie Lynn’s Response
All of that brings us to the most recent resurgence of the #FreeBritney movement. In recent weeks, fans have pushed around a petition asking Congress to intervene on her half, which already has well over 100,000 signatures. According to reports, Britney is has a court hearing Wednesday where many hope her conservatorship will be ended. That’s why you’re seeing the hashtag all over the internet.
Aside from that, there’s not a lot we know right now and we’ll have to wait and see what comes next. However, during this latest wave of concern, many have turned to Britney’s younger sister Jamie Lynn for answers.
Earlier this week, Jamie Lynn reshared tweets from celebrities discussing mental illness and condemning those joking about it, including one from Hasley. Those tweets were presumably in relation to jokes and discussions about Kanye West’s recent behavior.
In the caption, Jamie Lynn wrote, “If you deal with mental illness or care for someone dealing with mental illness, then you know how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones, no matter how it may appear to the public, and as the public we must learn to do the same.”
View this post on Instagram
👆🏻👏🏻👆🏻👏🏻👆🏻. “If you can’t offer understanding or sympathy, offer your silence”- HALSEY. If you deal with mental illness or care for someone dealing with mental illness, then you know how important it is to respect the situation with privacy for the person, and the family trying to protect their loved ones, no matter how it may appear to the public, and as the public we must learn to do the same. I pray this doesn’t bring shame to anyone dealing with mental illness, you are not alone, and you are loved. Sending all my love and prayers to all of you♥️
However, one user commented back, “How about your sisters OBVIOUS mental illness? Why don’t you speak on that?” To that, she responded, “You have no right to assume anything about my sister, and I have NO right to speak about HER health and personal matters. She is a strong, badass, unstoppable woman, and that’s the only thing that is OBVIOUS.”
According to People magazine, another follower demanded that Jamie Lynn and her family “clarify all these assumptions.” In response, she allegedly said, “I would never speak out just to clarify things to the public, when the person it pertains to does not want that to happen.”
“I’d rather take all the hate, then speak about someone elses personal matter, that they want to keep private.”
So with that, many are reminding each other online to have some compassion when sharing concerns for Britney.
See what others are saying: (Cosmopolitan) (Fox News) (EOnline)
Billie Eilish Advocates for Climate Action Ahead of U.N. COP26 Summit
The singer was joined by “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson and other big-name celebrities and activists in a pitch for world leaders to make substantial progress at the conference.
Billie Eilish Calls for Climate Action
Singer Billie Eilish partnered Tuesday with the environmental group Arctic Basecamp at the University of Exeter to call for meaningful climate action ahead of the U.N. COP26 climate conference.
“This year our leaders are deciding the global actions required on the environment climate emergency in a critical decade for our planet,” Eilish said in a video. “We must stand together and speak up to save our planet, not just for us, but for our future generations. And we need urgent, urgent action now.”
Eilish is no stranger to advocating for solutions to climate change. In September, the “Happier Than Ever” singer urged Congress to pass climate legislation as part of the #CodeRedClimate campaign. For her latest pitch with Arctic Basecamp, she was joined by other big names, including “The Office” actor Rainn Wilson, explorer Levison Wood, climate activist Daze Aghaji, and wildlife advocate Robert Irwin, who is the son of the late Steve Irwin.
“Courage. That’s what our world’s leaders need more than anything,” Wilson said in the video message. “The decisions that they make about the climate crisis in the next decade are the most important decisions in our planet’s history.”
What is COP26?
Arctic Basecamp works with scientists and other high-profile organizations all over the world to call attention to climate issues and encourage effective solutions. It was founded by Gail Whiteman, a professor at the University of Exeter, who released a statement thanking the slew of stars and activists for their involvement in the COP26 initiative.
“It is amazing to be working with such brave people that not only are using their voice but are using their voice for good,” she said. “This is a crisis and the Arctic is sounding the alarm. It is time that world leaders come together to create real change that ensures a safe future for humanity.”
COP26 will kick off in Glasgow on Oct. 31 and run through Nov. 12. Global leaders will discuss several actions regarding the environment, including pacts like the Paris Agreement and U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. They will also focus on a series of goals, including achieving global net-zero emissions by mid-century and protecting ecosystems, along with other infrastructure threatened by climate change.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pitched the event as a key moment for the world to come together and tackle climate change. This week, he described it as “our best chance to make the changes we need to protect our planet for our children and grandchildren.”
See what others are saying: (Billboard) (CNN) (The Independent)
Dave Chappelle Says He’s Willing To Meet With Trans Community Under Certain Conditions
After being criticized for transphobic comments, the comedian said he would give an audience to the transgender community even though he is “confused” about what they would be discussing.
Dave Chappelle Addresses Netflix Employees
Comedian Dave Chappelle responded on Monday to the recent backlash he has faced for making transphobic remarks in his new Netflix stand-up special “The Closer.”
Over the past several weeks, many employees at Netflix have protested against Chappelle’s program and numerous LGBTQ+ rights groups have condemned his comments. Netflix employees staged a walkout last week to call out “The Closer” and advocate for more trans and nonbinary employees to be included at the company.
Some reports have alleged that Chappelle denied the opportunity to speak with the trans community and allies at Netflix. In a new video addressing the controversy, Chappelle refuted that allegation.
“It’s been said in the press that I was invited to speak to the transgender employees of Netflix and I refused. That is not true,” he said “If they had invited me, I would have accepted it, although I am confused about what we would be speaking about.“
“I said what I said, and boy, I heard what you said. My God, how could I not?” he continued. “You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. It seems like I’m the only one who can’t go to the office.”
Chappelle Says He Will Meet With Trans Community
Chappelle added that he would be willing to meet with the trans community but is not “bending to anybody’s demands.”
“I have some conditions. First of all, you cannot come if you have not watched my special from beginning to end,” Chappelle explained. “You must come to a place of my choosing at a time of my choosing, and thirdly, you must admit that Hannah Gadsby is not funny.”
Gadsby is a comedian best known for her Netflix special “Nanette.” While defending Chappelle, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos name-dropped Gadsby and “Nanette” as examples of the service’s offerings that give voice to marginalized communities. Gadsby shot back at the executive, saying she did not want him to “drag [her] name into [his] mess.”
“Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view,” Gadsby wrote on Instagram. “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”
During “The Closer,” Chappelle called himself “team TERF” while discussing author J.K. Rowling being “canceled” after making a series of transphobic comments herself. He said he agreed with Rowling and added that “gender is a fact.” He later made a slew of other comments, including a joke about Caitlyn Jenner and remarks comparing the genitalia of transgender women to Beyond and Impossible meat.
As outrage poured in, Sarandos released a series of statements in support of Chappelle and his artistic freedom. During his video, Chappelle thanked Sarandos, claiming that he has lost a series of opportunities amid the controversy. Chappelle recently completed a documentary that he says was going to screen at film festivals, but he is allegedly no longer welcome at those events.
“When this controversy came out about ‘The Closer,’ they began disinviting me from these film festivals, and now, today, not a film company, not a movie studio, not a film festival, nobody will touch this film,” Chapelled claimed. “Thank God for Ted Sarandos and Netflix, he’s the only one that didn’t cancel me yet.”
Chappelle later announced that he will be taking his documentary on tour to cities like San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, and Toronto.
See what others are saying: (Variety) (The Hollywood Reporter) (NPR)
Affidavit Outlines Alleged Events That Lead Up to Fatal Shooting on “Rust” Set
Before the tragic incident that resulted in the death of the film’s cinematographer, actor Alec Baldwin was allegedly assured that the gun he was handed on set was not loaded.
Details of Events Leading Up to Shooting
An affidavit alleges that actor Alec Baldwin was rehearsing a scene that involved him pointing a gun at the camera when he misfired the weapon last week, killing the production’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, and injuring director Joel Souza.
Multiple outlets obtained the affidavit from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday. The document details the alleged events that resulted in Thursday’s tragedy on the set of “Rust.” Souza told investigators that during a firearms safety announcement, he heard the prop weapon referred to as a “cold gun,” a term that means the gun is not loaded.
According to Souza, the guns on set were usually checked by two people: armorer Hannah Guttierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls. Halls was in charge of giving the guns to actors, though sources said both Guttierrez-Reed and Halls did so at various times.
The affidavit said that Halls handed the gun to Baldwin while announcing it as a “cold gun.” Investigators say investigators that Halls got the revolver from a tray set up by Gutierrez-Reed.
Souza said the crew had spent part of the day preparing for a scene in a church and later left to take a lunch break at another location. He said he was unsure if the firearm had been checked again after returning from lunch.
When the accident happened. Souza said he heard what “sounded like a whip and then loud pop.” He first noticed Hutchins grabbing her midsection and stumbling back before realizing he had been hit in the shoulder.
The incident came after six camera crew workers reportedly walked off the set in protest of unfair and unsafe working conditions. According to the affidavit, a replacement crew had quickly been hired, but production on the day of the accident was off to a late start because of related issues. Regarding general on-set behavior, Souza claimed that “everyone was getting along” and that there had been “no altercations” to his knowledge.
The affidavit’s walkout claim backed up previous reporting from The Los Angeles Times. Sources from the set of “Rust” told the outlet on Friday that half a dozen workers left the set because they were frustrated by safety issues, long hours, long commutes, and a long wait for their paychecks.
Safety Issues on Set of “Rust”
According to the report, standard industry safety protocols “were not strictly followed,” and at least one worker complained specifically about gun safety. Some sources told The Times that there had already been at least two accidental discharges of a prop gun. Around a week before the fatal accident, Baldwin’s stunt double allegedly fired two rounds after being told a gun was cold.
“There should have been an investigation into what happened,” one source told the outlet. “There were no safety meetings. There was no assurance that it wouldn’t happen again. All they wanted to do was rush, rush, rush.”
Another source told The Times that “corners were being cut” on set.
The report also claimed that Hutchins was among those advocating for her team to have safer work conditions.
Rust Movie Productions released a statement saying safety “is the top priority of Rust Productions and everyone associated with the company.”
“Though we were not made aware of any official complaints concerning weapon or prop safety on set, we will be conducting an internal review of our procedures while production is shut down,” the statement continued.
Baldwin, for his part, sent his condolences to Hutchins’ family on Friday. At the time, he said he was cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Vigils have been held in New Mexico and Hollywood to honor Hutchins. The American Film Institute also made a memorial scholarship in her name.