What Next

#FreeBritney Is Just the Beginning

Once someone is placed under a guardianship like Spears’, it’s almost impossible to get out.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it today for just $1.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

Pop star Britney Spears spoke out in court last week about the conservatorship she’s been under for 13 years, shedding light on all the restrictions she’s lived under. In doing so, Spears opened up a world rarely seen outside of courtrooms and the reality for an estimated 1.3 million people living under a court-ordered guardianship.

Guest: Sara Luterman, freelance journalist covering disability policy, politics, and culture.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Davis Land, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.