This week, the fan campaign to free Britney Spears from her conservatorship took a disruptive turn. According to a report from TMZ, some uninvited #FreeBritney supporters crashed a status hearing Zoom call and refused to leave for over two hours. Since the routine hearing, which occurs roughly every three months, is confidential to the parties legally involved, the judge disbanded the virtual courtroom once it became clear the protesters weren’t going to budge.
The #FreeBritney movement has picked up steam in recent months, with advocates calling attention to the conservatorship agreement that signed away control of her finance, business, and personal decisions over to her father and a lawyer 12 years ago. During a summer of strange social media posting — peaking with Spears wearing a yellow shirt in a video, after one fan asked her to wear yellow if she was in danger — there’s been accelerated concern for her well-being within the agreement. Her father, Jamie Spears, stepped down as conservator last September, citing health reasons. He reportedly retains financial control, even as Spears’ care manager Jodi Montgomery was appointed to fill the roll temporarily.
On Wednesday, fans gathered outside a Los Angeles courthouse to protest her conservatorship as a hearing took place. A group of fans held #FreeBritney signs and marched outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, including one woman who flew in from Philadelphia to voice her support. The next hearing regarding Spears’ conservatorship is reportedly scheduled for August 19.
Spears' older brother, Bryan Spears, discussed the increased attention surrounding her legal agreement on the As NOT Seen on TV Podcast. While he claims at one point that the conservatorship has "been a great thing for our family," Spears says that his sister's never been onboard with it. “She’s always wanted to get out of it. It’s very frustrating to have,” Spears told the podcast. “Whether someone’s coming in peace to help or coming in with an attitude, having someone constantly tell you to do something has got to be frustrating. She’s wanted to get out of it for quite some time.”
While disruptive tactics like crashing a Zoom meeting might be counter-productive in the larger mission to free Spears from the legal agreement, it's undoubtedly never had more attention than right now.