As the public awareness around Britney Spears’ hard-fought conservatorship battle has grown in 2021, many #FreeBritney advocates have expressed their disapproval of her sister Jamie Lynn’s silence and the rumored benefits she’s experienced due to her sister’s financially binding position. Jamie Lynn responded to the backlash in a June 28 Instagram video, saying she remained silent because she wanted her sister to speak for herself first and she’s always supported her sister. But despite this, a petition to remove Jamie Lynn Spears from her Netflix show Sweet Magnolias has amassed tens of thousands of signatures, and it appears to be only gaining traction. (Elite Daily reached out to Netflix and Jamie Lynn’s team for comment on the petition but did not hear back in time for publication.)
When Sweet Magnolias premiered back in May 2020, viewers were hyped for Jamie Lynn’s big return to acting. She hadn’t had a major TV role since her Nickelodeon series Zoey 101 ended in 2008, so the feel-good South Carolina drama about three best friends navigating their relationships and careers served as her first foray into acting in an adult series. However, public opinion has notably shifted as the show prepares to launch its second season. After The New York Times’ investigative documentary Framing Britney Spears stoked an overwhelming outcry against Britney’s years-long conservatorship when it dropped on Hulu at the start of 2021, #FreeBritney supporters pointed out Jamie Lynn’s public silence as Britney made remarks about her family being unsupportive and manipulative. Jamie Lynn even disabled her Instagram comments for a while due to the intense backlash she was receiving.
Amid all this, Sweet Magnolias was renewed for a second season in July 2021, which will see Jamie Lynn promoted from a recurring role to a main part. But that promotion didn’t sit well with a lot of #FreeBritney supporters, and now a Change.org petition to remove Jamie Lynn from the show has gotten over 26,000 signatures as of Oct. 20.
“Netflix, we urge you to remove Jamie Lynn Spears from your show Sweet Magnolias,” the petition reads. “Jamie Lynn could easily file a petition to terminate the conservatorship, yet she hasn’t. She instead allows the exploitation of her sister to continue.” Similar petitions on Change.org have also amassed a large amount of signatures, but neither Netflix nor the Sweet Magnolias cast and crew have acknowledged the outcry yet. (In her June IG video addressing the general fan backlash, Jamie Lynn said, “It’s extremely clear that since the day I was born I’ve only loved, adored, and supported my sister ... I have supported my sister long before there was a hashtag, and I’ll support her long after.”)
Since Season 2 of Sweet Magnolias already wrapped production in summer 2021 and Jamie Lynn’s character Noreen plays a pivotal part in the novels the show is based on, it’s very unlikely the actor will actually be pulled from the upcoming season. But the growing backlash could potentially affect the future of the series, so fans will have to see what happens when Sweet Magnolias Season 2 premieres on Netflix sometime in 2022.