Fact Check

Did Madonna Compare Britney Spears' Conservatorship to Slavery?

Madonna made the comment on Instagram.

Published July 10, 2021

Image Via Screenshot
Madonna compared Britney Spears' conservatorship to slavery.

In early July 2021, pop icon Madonna took to her Instagram account to make a controversial post about Britney Spears and the fact that Spears, another pop icon, has been under conservatorship. Madonna's post generated controversy because she compared the conservatorship to slavery.

Spears made explosive testimony in June 2021 outlining the conditions under which she was living, including stating how she was not allowed to marry her boyfriend and was forced to have an IUD implanted. Spears' living conditions under the conservatorship generated widespread outcry.

Instagram stories disappear in 24 hours, but screenshots of Madonna's posts circulated on other social media platforms, like Twitter:

Some responded by noting that although Spears' situation was appalling, it can't be compared to the brutality of the enslavement of Black people before the Civil War.

"Yeah. No. Nothing is comparable to slavery except slavery. Bad take, Madonna," one Twitter user responded. "Slavery is NOT what is happening to Britney. What's happening to Britney is wrong and immoral but its not slavery," another stated.

Spears' case has raised public awareness about guardianship arrangements, which in some instances can protect people in vulnerable positions from financial exploitation. But advocates say that the arrangement can be overused and imposed on people who don't need the oversight. Spears has been under the guardianship of her father, Jamie Spears, since 2008. During a court hearing in June 2021, Spears described the arrangement as abusive.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who started her career as a daily newspaper reporter and has covered everything from crime to government to national politics. She has written for ... read more

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