Thursday, June 30, 2022

Drama update: Spears vs. Spears

January 27, 2022

With the positive public reaction to the liberation of Britney Spears from the conservatorship of her father, the light-shedding documentaries and #FreeBritney trending globally, no one thought that we would see another low blow from a family member. But as most Hollywood family affairs go, it all has to end with an incriminating tell-all that skyrockets to the top of the New York Times Bestsellers list.

A frenzy of media swamped the Spears with attention right before the release of Jamie Lynn Spears' "Things I Should Have Said" on Jan. 18. Britney decided to begin her own press for the book by calling her sister out on social media. While Jamie Lynn wanted to create a piece about her dysfunctional family and receive pity for having to grow up with her superstar sister and Britney's infamy at the peak of her career, including stories of the star chasing her with a knife, the reviews came in and no one seemed to believe her or her motives to create the book. Instead focusing on Britney during her newfound rebirth of relevance in pop culture instead of herself.

Britney didn't believe her pure motives or the seemingly factual information about her family life in the book. In an emoji-filled tweet curated in the notes app, Britney called Jamie Lynn a "scum person" for making up information about her and quoting in the book that she had never worked for anything. While she ends it with stating that she still loves her sister and wishes her the best, she followed up by unfollowing Jamie Lynn on Instagram, tearing the already fragile sisters apart.

"Whether you have a good relationship with your sibling or not, its unimaginable to be able to do that to somebody that you’re related to even as closely as those two were at one point," engineering freshman Isabella VanTuyle said about Jamie Lynn's actions.

While many fans of Britney were surprised by the actions of her sister, others saw her need for attention in movement from the beginning.

"I wasn’t surprised. I kept up with the whole movement a lot throughout the years and I know there have been a lot of interviews and reports from other people that she tried to take over the situation a lot," political science freshman Michelle Goldberg said.

The Free Britney movement had always worked to do what was right by her with the loss of her platform, voice and freedom, but her fans don't see Jamie Lynn's perspective reflecting any of those concerns, but only concerns for her own self.

"Jamie is using that fame to sell her book," business freshman Mishthi Kapoor said.

Kapoor also believes that Jamie Lynn is simply trying to fix her own image as one of the Spears. She wants to use this book to separate herself from her family by painting them as the dysfunctional ones and the problem, while she remains blameless in the victimization of Britney.

While Britney's platform was stripped away due to the conservatorship, leaving her only way of real communication being hints of her trauma in Instagram captions, Jamie Lynn was given the star treatment. Alexandra Cooper, the famous "founding father" of the incredibly popular Call Her Daddy podcast, invited Jamie Lynn on to speak her truth and give her side of the story in a whopping two-part series.

The host of Call Her Daddy was dragged on the internet due to her surface level beliefs in feminism, yet, allowing a guest to air out her side when one side of the story has been scrutinized for over ten years. The host of the famous podcast appears to be playing devil's advocate.

"Podcasts, specifically the Call Her Daddy podcast … feeds into misogyny as a whole and I think that their upholding of Jamie’s opinions on all this are just furthering their extent to which they play into misogyny," VanTuyle said.

However, the press for the controversial book is looking like it will hit a dead end. Jamie Lynn has cancelled her book tour, which does not bode well for the reviews and also impedes her goal if this novel really was a moneymaking stunt. However, some believe that this only feeds into the popularity that this book will gain.

"Any publicity is positive for anybody whether it is a scandal (or not)," VanTuyle said.

Even with the attention diverted from the problem at hand in the Spears family, the Free Britney movement is still focused on making sure justice is handed to the person they have backed up for years.

"I think it's more than just having to do with Britney Spears specifically. I think it's an issue revolving around misogyny and abusive power surrounding her and I’m sure a lot more," VanTuyle said.

Even with continuous rumors flying around the book including the name of the original title being "I Must Confess," which pays homage to one of Britney's top singles, making it harder to believe that the book was not solely based on her sister's fame, fans of the superstar want the drama to die down.

"I just hope that Britney is able to exist beyond the people that are antagonizing her, especially and including her family, because that is a very … toxic relationship," VanTuyle said.

With continuous social media posts and another part to come out of the podcast series, there is no end in sight for the Spears drama, and while some cower away from it, some get out popcorn. The only given is that it will be all over our Twitter feeds whether we like it or not.

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