Sam Asghari has some words for Netflix, y’all. The streaming service recently released a trailer for a new documentary covering Britney Spears’ life (and the challenges of her conservatorship), aptly titled Britney vs. Spears. And while Spears herself has yet to comment on the film, her fiancé, Asghari, was quick to share his thoughts and feelings. And yeah, they were pretty intense.
Specifically, Asghari commented on Netflix’s Instagram post sharing a teaser for Britney vs. Spears. “I hope the profit from these docs go towards fighting [against] injustice,” he wrote, followed by the popular hashtag “#freebritney.”
The documentary was reportedly made without Spears’ authorization, which has stirred up some frustration amongst her fans and allies (including, of course, Asghari). Bobby Campbell — who’s produced films like Gaga: Five Foot Two, the 2017 Lady Gaga documentary — also chimed in on Netflix’s post.
“How much money is being made by third parties from this documentary leveraging Britney's personal story and its value in the media?" Campbell wrote. “There needs to be transparency about how or whether the filmmakers are profiting from this doc, or if they are donating their fees to Britney’s legal defense, or to legal defense funds to [aid] those who do not have the financial resources to fight against undue conservatorships. Even if it is in support of freeing Britney, this appears that it could be exploitative.”
Asghari seemed to agree, replying to Campbell’s comment with a “100” emoji. At the time of publication, Netflix has not yet responded to Asghari or Campbell’s comments.
Britney vs. Spears will be released on Sept. 28, 2021, the day before Spears is set to appear in court. On Sept. 29, Spears will seek to end her conservatorship (which, at present, grants her father, James Spears, full legal control of her finances, and another conservator full control of her life and livelihood). The documentary is set to cover the details of this arrangement, though it’s not the first to do so.
In early 2021, The New York Times produced and released Framing Britney Spears for Hulu and FX, which also examined the pop star’s long-running conservatorship (and helped galvanize support for the #FreeBritney movement). Spears did not watch the doc, but she did share that she was “embarrassed” by its portrayal of her in an Instagram post.
“I didn’t watch the documentary but from what I did see of it I was embarrassed by the light they put me in,” she wrote. “I cried for two weeks and well .... I still cry sometimes !!!! I do what I can in my own spirituality with myself to try and keep my own joy ... love ... and happiness ... Every day dancing brings me joy !!! I’m not here to be perfect ... perfect is boring ... I’m here to pass on kindness.”
Fingers crossed she feels more fairly represented by Britney vs. Spears, and here’s hoping — if nothing else — the new doc inspires viewers to make their own contributions to legal defense funds, supporting those battling unjust conservatorships.