Just one week ago, beloved pop star Britney Spears found herself in the headlines after FX and the New York Times released an explosive new documentary entitled Framing Britney Spears, recounting the star's life, struggles with press harassment, her controversial conservatorship, and the #FreeBritney movement. Yet in the seven days since the documentary first hit Hulu, the film has acted as a catalyst for several occurrences in the Britney-sphere, righting wrongs and potentially setting the groundwork for Britney having more autonomy over her life and finances.
From legal updates on the pop star's conservatorship to a famous former flame issuing an apology, here are three major Britney updates stemming from the documentary's release.
On Thursday, Britney's attorneys, alongside her father Jamie, and his legal team, virtually appeared in court for a hearing regarding Bessemer Trust's appointment as a co-conservator of the singer's estate. Although the family office was established in the position, alongside Jamie last November, the singer's dad had objections to the third party, which he broached to Judge Brenda Penny, NPR reported. After hearing arguments from both sides, including from Britney's lawyer, who had previously asserted that the star was "strongly opposed" to her father serving as her conservator, Judge Penny ruled to maintain last year's agreement, making no changes.
In light of this ruling, a blow to Jamie, renowned Hollywood producer and child of the Judge, Prentice Penny, took to Twitter to commend his mother's decision.
"Also: Judge Penny is my ACTUAL mother. I could've told Britney's dad: She don't play."
Aside from dissecting Britney's conservatorship and relationship with her father, the documentary also implicated Justin Timberlake in several of Britney's media struggles, namely through talking about their sex life in the press and his video for "Cry Me a River," featuring a Britney-lookalike. After calls mounted online for the "SexyBack" singer to apologize for painting an unflattering portrait of Britney amid their 2002 breakup, as well as for exposing Janet Jackson during the 2004 Super Bowl, in light of last Sunday's game, the artist took to Instagram to issue an apology to both women, noting how his actions played into "a system that condones misogyny and racism."
"I've seen the messages, tags, comments and concerns and I want to respond," he wrote. "I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right." He then turned the statement towards the women his actions impacted.
"I specifically want to apologize to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed," he added. "I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be a part of and grow from."
Timberlake continued, elaborating on how his sex and gender protected him in several situations. "The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It's designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn't recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down ever again."
Finally, he vowed to improve his approach. "I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and will do better."
However, JT isn't alone. Since the film's release, several prominent figures, including broadcast journalist, Diane Sawyer, and notorious gossip columnist, Perez Hilton, have been called to apologize for their mistreatment of the star. As most of those implicated have stayed silent, comedian and actress, Sarah Silverman issued an apology to Britney for taunting her on national television following her botched 2007 MTV VMA's performance, after a fan posted a clip of her calling the singer's children "adorable mistakes" and slut-shaming her for her fashion choices.
"I was known then 4 roasts. MTV asked me to mini-roast Britney after her big performance. While she was performing I was having diarrhea & going over my jokes," Silverman replied to the Tweet. "Had no idea she didn’t kill. Unfortunate. Art changes over yrs as we know more & the world changes."
The Wreck-It Ralph star later elaborated, more formally apologizing to the musician on her eponymous podcast. "Here's the key -- she didn't ask to be roasted," the comedian explained. "So for my part in the Britney saga, I am sorry. You know, I feel I too, was a bit of a shill by the man, but they were my jokes and I took the job and I know she was young -- I was also young -- we're not that far in age, and I think because I had just hosted the MTV awards and roasted everyone there and it went well, I didn't yet know that big stars could get their feelings hurt. I think a lot of people still don't realize that."
Silverman also noted that she stopped participating in roasts later in her career, as they "started to really feel bad," and that kind of humor is only okay when it's friends or "people who love each other being brutal to each other."
So, folks, it's been a long week full of important reconciliations and accountability, in regards to not only Britney but how celebrities, the press, and hell, even the legal system, treat young women and girls. So, remember, no matter if you're a comedian, singer, member of the press, or a Twitter-lurker, always treat others the way you want to be treated -- even if "others" are beloved international pop stars.