Madonna sparks criticism by comparing Britney Spears’ conservatorship to slavery

A young blond woman posing with an older blond woman
Pop stars Britney Spears, left, and Madonna pose backstage during the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City.
(Frank Micelotta / Getty Images)

Pop legend Madonna is the latest musician to express outrage on behalf of her former collaborator Britney Spears amid the “...Baby One More Time” singer’s contentious conservatorship battle.

Weeks after Spears delivered a bombshell testimony before a Los Angeles court demanding the termination of her 13-year conservatorship, Madonna blamed the “greedy patriarchy” for her fellow pop star’s suffering, which she compared to “slavery.”

Spears and Madonna have joined forces in the past for the 2003 single “Me Against the Music” and that year’s MTV Video Music Awards, during which they famously shared a kiss onstage.

“Give this woman her life back,” Madonna posted Friday on her Instagram story, along with a photo of herself wearing a “Britney Spears” shirt.

“Slavery was abolished so long ago! Death to the greedy patriarchy that has been doing this to women for centuries. This is a violation of human rights! Britney we coming to get you out of jail!”

‘Interested party’ Lynne Spears wants the court to listen to daughter Britney Spears and let her hire her own lawyer after Samuel Ingham III resigned Tuesday.

July 7, 2021


While some praised the “Express Yourself” hitmaker for “finally” voicing support for Spears, others questioned her use of the word “slavery” to describe her fellow Grammy winner’s predicament.

“Did she just refer to the abolition of literal slavery —” wrote one person.

“Slavery is NOT what is happening to Britney,” tweeted another. “What’s happening to Britney is wrong and immoral but its not slavery. Looks like @Madonna needs a history lesson.”

Experts in probate law say the singer’s account is well within the realm of how conservatorship works. “You’re taking away a person’s right to make any decisions over themselves,” one said.

June 26, 2021

While appealing to a judge last month, Spears claimed her conservators have forced her to work nonstop, take medication that left her incapacitated, and use an intrauterine contraceptive device to prevent her from having children.

“I’ve lied and told the whole world I’m OK and I’m happy,” Spears said.

“I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. ... But now I’m telling you the truth, OK? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry, it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.”


Britney Spears’ manager and financial co-conservator put in resignation requests, with court-appointed lawyer Sam Ingham III expected to do the same.

July 6, 2021

In recent weeks, the “Circus” artist’s emotional remarks have prompted a public outcry, as well as the resignations of Spears’ attorney Samuel Ingham III, longtime manager Larry Rudolph and others.

On Tuesday, the beloved vocalist’s mother filed a petition with the L.A. County Superior Court requesting permission for Spears to select her own private attorney — a freedom Spears also requested during last month’s hearing.

Before Madonna published her latest Instagram story, several other celebrities — including Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake and Spears’ younger sister, Jamie Lynn — had already released statements backing the recording artist’s move to end what she called an “abusive” conservatorship.

“I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money ... and pay other people,” Spears told the court last month. “It makes no sense. The laws need to change.”

The next court date in Spears’ conservatorship case is July 14.