Was #FreeBritney Right All Along?

What Britney Spears’ dramatic statement changes in the battle over her conservatorship.


Episode Notes

On Wednesday, Britney Spears spoke in court against her current conservatorship, which began in 2008. In recent years, fans have speculated that Spears was being controlled against her will by her father through this conservatorship, and started the #FreeBritney movement in an attempt to break her out of it. On today’s episode, Madison and Rachelle break down the history of Spears’ conservatorship, the conspiracy theories that arose around #FreeBritney, and what the pop star’s statement changes.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Derek John.


About the Show

Join Rachelle Hampton twice a week as we gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back.

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  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.