Fans are drawing parallels between the devastating testimony given by Britney Spears this week, and an episode of Black Mirror.
On Wednesday 24 June, Spears delivered a statement to an open court in Los Angeles, in which she alleged “abusive” treatment under the controversial conservatorship that controls her finances and personal life.
She alleged that her team forced her to use a birth control device even while she wanted to get married and have children with her boyfriend, Sam Ashgari. She also claimed she was made to take lithium for five months after publicly announcing she was taking a break from touring.
Fans are now comparing the testimony to one of the most disturbing episodes of Charlie Brooker’s hit series Black Mirror, in which Miley Cyrus plays a pop star, Ashley O, who is controlled by her aunt.
She is pressured into performing even when she doesn’t want to, is surrounded by a team who mind her daily activities, and is made to take medication when she rebels. Ashley is later placed in a coma and songs are extracted from her brainwaves.
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“When she starts to rail against the narrow confines of her pop persona – something the real Cyrus has been doing since her tween Disney days – things go very wrong for her,” The Independent’s review explained. “Her fate goes from bad to worse, and the episode – or “film”, as co-producer Annabel Jones calls them – starts to feel very bleak indeed.”
“Was that Black Mirror episode with Miley Cyrus with inspired by Britney Spears?” artist Bree Newsome asked. “Because it keeps coming to mind for me when I see news about her.”
“It’s sad and scary to know Britney Spears‘ life is so eerily similar to the Ashley O BlackMirror episode. She’s had no control for so long we’re lucky she’s still with us. I hope she gets her freedom,” one person tweeted.
“That Miley Cyrus Black Mirror episode was about Britney Spears,” another widely shared tweet read.
Cyrus herself supported the #FreeBritney movement, the campaign from Spears fans to release the singer from her conservatorship, in 2019, when she shouted “Free Britney” during a concert in Memphis.
She also declared, “We love Britney” during her Super Bowl performance, after the documentary Framing Britney Spears was released earlier this year.