Opinion: We don't need more Britney documentaries that fail to feature Britney herself 7 months ago

Opinion: We don't need more Britney documentaries that fail to feature Britney herself

The latest Britney documentary has been called "inaccurate" and "deeply uncomfortable".

Earlier this week, Netflix debuted the latest documentary about Britney Spears, and the reviews were less than favourable.


Britney vs Spears sees filmmakers Erin Lee Carr and Jenny Eli parse through the singer's life, examining her rise to stardom, her divorce from Kevin Federline, and of course, her long-running converatorship battle.

Some critics described Britney vs Spears as "careless" and "inaccurate", while others called it "disturbing" and "deeply uncomfortable".

Britney vs Spears is just one of many films released about this singer this year, and it certainly begs the question - do we really need more documentaries about the singer's ongoing case, particularly if Britney herself has no say in these narratives?

While the majority of these documentaries - Britney vs Spears, Controlling Britney Spears and Framing Britney Spears - trace the singer's fight for control over her personal and financial affairs - none of them see Britney herself actively contribute to the narrative, let alone control it. Indeed, profiting off her story without enabling her to have her say in it seems to run contrary to the #FreeBritney movement.


What's more, it is not as though Britney herself has been exactly quiet on on the matter. The star has been vocal in both her criticisms of her legal situation, as well as the media's portrayal of it.

Earlier this summer, Britney described the documentaries about her as "hypocritical".

Taking to Instagram, she wrote: "So many documentaries about me this year with other people's takes on my life ... what can I say ... I'm deeply flattered !!!


"These documentaries are so hypocritical ... they criticize the media and then do the same thing???"

She went on to say: "Why highlight the most negative and traumatizing times in my life from forever ago?"

There is a deep irony in continually creating films and series about one woman's quest for autonomy, only to have her voice absent from that same narrative. As public interest in the conservatorship remains high, there will still be profits to be made from films and series about the star. And, while they may reiterate Britney's call for freedom, until she's given a more central role in telling her story, that freedom will belong to the writer or director in charge of her portrayal.