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Framing Britney Spears, the buzzed-about documentary produced by the New York Times for FX and Hulu, has been nominated for two Emmy Awards, in the categories of outstanding documentary or nonfiction special, and picture editing for a nonfiction program.
The Emmy nominations come as Spears continues to fight for an end to her conservatorship, in a highly-publicized saga that took on new urgency after the singer testified before a Los Angeles court in June. The new developments in the conservatorship has also renewed interested in the Hulu documentary, which — until Spears’ recent first-person testimony — was the latest glimpse into the star’s ongoing struggle to free herself from her father and co-conservator’s reins.
Of course much has been written — and released — about Spears over the years, from a tell-all book by her mother, to a number of unauthorized documentaries that explore everything from her rise to fame, to her sudden fall and much-publicized personal and professional setbacks.
But in Framing Britney Spears, the filmmakers aim to reveal the truth behind the superstar’s legal battles, namely the conservatorship Spears has been under since 2008. First released in February, Framing Britney Spears is part of The New York Times Presents series of investigative docs and quickly became a trending topic on social media, and a streaming hit.
The feature-length episode delves into the legal challenges Spears has encountered with the conservatorship — almost entirely controlled since the beginning by her father, Jamie Spears — as well as the mounting #FreeBritney movement of fans who believe the singer is unfairly held “captive” by her family and management team.
Framing Britney Spears: Where to Watch, What Channel is It On?
The sixth episode of The New York Times Presents series, Framing Britney Spears premiered Friday, February 5th at 10pm EST on FX. If you have a cable package, you can watch the Britney documentary on FX (check your cable guide to find out what channel FX is on based on your cable provider, as they may be repeating the program).
While most FX shows hit Hulu the day after its live premiere on TV, Framing Britney Spears is streaming linearly on Hulu.com at the same time as the FX airing so you can watch the Britney documentary online without cable.
How to Watch Britney Spears Documentary Online Free
If you want to watch Framing Britney Spears online, you’ll need to sign-up for Hulu. Not a subscriber? Hulu currently has a 7-day free trial that will let you stream the Britney Spears documentary online for free, and re-watch it on demand as many times as you want.
You’ll also be able to use the free trial to check out the full FX on Hulu lineup, and watch thousands of hours of other programming on Hulu, from Golden Globe-nominated shows and movies, to popular music documentaries and concert films.
Note: If you want to watch the Britney Spears documentary in Canada, you can find it on Crave, since neither FX nor Hulu is currently available north of the border. While some people were able to watch Framing Britney Spears on YouTube and Vimeo, many of those clips have since been taken down for copyright-related issues. Your other option to watch Framing Britney Spears in Canada is to use a VPN and then sign-up for the Hulu free trial to watch it under a U.S. account.
Framing Britney Spears: Latest Spoilers, Reveals
According to a release promoting the documentary, Framing Britney Spears promises a “re-examination of her career and a new assessment of the movement rallying against her court-mandated conservatorship, capture the unsavory dimensions of the American pop-star machine.”
The documentary explores the legal basis for a conservatorship, as well as the requirements that both Spears — and her judge-appointed guardian(s) — must follow. Jamie Spears was his daughter’s conservator until the fall of 2019 when he stepped back due to health issues. He is now back as a co-conservator along with the Bessemer Trust Company, the latter of which was reportedly nominated by Britney herself.
The new documentary includes interviews with those who were formerly in the singer’s inner circle, including Felicia Culotta, a family friend who was Spears’ long-time personal assistant, and music journalists and talent scouts who covered her career from the very beginning. The producers also interview a lawyer who once worked on Spears’ conservatorship, and speak to the growing legion of fans behind the #FreeBritney movement (seen protesting at a recent hearing in Los Angeles, above). There is even an interview with the infamous paparazzi photographer whose car Spears attacked with an umbrella in 2007 (spoiler alert: he’s not exactly remorseful).
While Spears’ legal battles are well-publicized, the documentary also touches on themes of media bias and mental health, especially when addressing the star’s supposed “breakdown.” Clips are shown of Spears being interviewed by everyone from Ed McMahon to Diane Sawyer, with many of the interviewers seemingly going out of bounds with their lines of questioning. There are also clips shown of the media’s unrelenting obsession with a teenage Spears’ body and her quickly “sexualized” image. The question posed: was Britney a victim of her own success, or of a relenting media circus that seemed intent on tarnishing the world’s biggest star?
Spears, who has not performed since canceling her Las Vegas residency in 2019, has not publicly commented on the release of the documentary, though she issued a veiled statement on Twitter about “taking time” to be a “normal person.” Spears does not appear in film, though clips are shown of her speaking about her family and the conservatorship in the past. And while Justin Timberlake recently issued an apology as a result of backlash from the film, it’s worth noting that no one in Spears’ camp has spoken out about Framing Britney Spears or refuted any of its claims since it premiered.