Britney Spears fans gathered outside West Hollywood City Hall on Monday afternoon demanding that the pop princess be released from a treatment facility.
The protest comes after #FreeBritney began trending on social media in response to an episode of the podcast Britney’s Gram, which asserted based on a voicemail from a paralegal source who claimed to have knowledge of the situation, that the 37-year-old singer was being held in a treatment facility against her will.
Protesters outside West Hollywood City Hall held signs that said “Free Britney” and “Truth Will Set Her Free.” According to Billboard, fans shouted chants like “Hey ho, Larry Rudolph has got to go,” taking aim at the singer’s longtime manager, who some fans believe is behind the decision to put Spears in the facility.
Spears checked into the facility in early April, claiming “tremendous stress” due to dealing with her father’s illness. Spears cancelled her Vegas show Domination in January, citing her father’s illness. In an Instagram post, she said, “It’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make.”
She continued, “A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand.”
I don’t even know where to start with this, because this is so tough for me to say. I will not be performing my new show Domination. I’ve been looking forward to this show and seeing all of you this year, so doing this breaks my heart. However, it’s important to always put your family first… and that’s the decision I had to make. A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We’re all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him. I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand. More information on ticket refunds is available on britneyspears.com. I appreciate your prayers and support for my family during this time. Thank you, and love you all… always.
People shared photos of the protest on social media, though not all of the people who shared were present at the protest.
— Greg W (@gregw_dj) April 22, 2019
— Daniel_B (@Daniel_B6) April 23, 2019
— FREE BRITNEY (@peternewturkey) April 23, 2019
In an interview done by Entertainment Tonight at the protest, the hosts of Britney’s Gram explained that they believe that Spears’ conservatorship is unfair and should end.
— Entertainment Tonight (@etnow) April 23, 2019
“It’s a very serious thing to put somebody under,” host Barbara Gray said. “We believe that through the proof of her work through the past number of years, she has proven herself that she is capable of being her own person.”
Spears has been under the legal guardianship of her father since 2008. Under her conservatorship, Spears is not allowed to make any financial or legal decisions for herself.
Britney Spears’ mother Lynne Spears has added fuel to the speculation fire by liking Instagram posts and comments calling for Spears’ freedom and release from the facility.