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TONIGHT! FX and Hulu to Debut New Documentary Film The New York Times Presents “Controlling Britney Spears”

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Earlier this year, FX and Hulu’s documentary feature film “Framing Britney Spears,” part of The New York Times Presents series, catalyzed international attention on the singer’s conservatorship battle. Now comes “Controlling Britney Spears,” an explosive follow-up documentary by the same team, featuring new allegations from insiders with intimate knowledge of Britney’s daily life inside the conservatorship. It will debut simultaneously tonight @ 10PM ET on FX and Hulu.

In a confidential report obtained by The Times, Ms. Spears told a court investigator in 2016 that her conservatorship had become “an oppressive and controlling tool against her.” But how the conservatorship has controlled her life has never been revealed. Now, in this New York Times investigation, a portrait emerges of an intense surveillance apparatus that monitored every move she made.

The film is directed by Samantha Stark, and Liz Day is supervising producer and reporter. It was produced in partnership by The New York Times and Left/Right, the same team behind “Framing Britney Spears.”

Once the insiders came forward, The Times and Left/Right felt compelled to bring this reporting to the public as soon as possible.

“When Britney spoke publicly about her conservatorship in detail for the first time during a court hearing in June, she said a reason she hadn’t spoken up earlier is she didn’t think people would believe her,” Samantha Stark said. “She said she felt abused under the conservatorship and questioned whether the judge thought she was lying. Britney’s speech motivated the people in this film to seek us out to share their stories — at great risk to themselves — because they felt compelled to back up what Britney was saying with evidence they had or moments they witnessed.”

Liz Day added, “Britney’s situation raises a lot of important questions about the conservatorship system at large and whether it is working properly. We felt that it was in the public interest to examine that.”

The next court hearing in Ms. Spears’s conservatorship case is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 29. The judge is expected to hear Ms. Spears’s request to remove her father from the conservatorship as well as her father’s petition to terminate the conservatorship.

The New York Times Presents is produced by The New York Times and Left/Right, a Red Arrow Studios company. Executive producers are Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, Mary Robertson, Jason Stallman, Sam Dolnick and Stephanie Preiss. Robertson also serves as the showrunner of The New York Times Presents.

The New York Times Presents features a series of standalone documentary films powered by the unparalleled journalism and insight of journalists at The New York Times, bringing viewers close to the essential stories of our time.

“Framing Britney Spears” received Emmy(R) Award nominations for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program, as well as the TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information. The New York Times Presents also won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special) for “The Killing of Breonna Taylor.”

The New York Times Presents hails from the same team responsible for the FX and Hulu docuseries The Weekly, which won four News & Documentary Emmy Awards, an Overseas Press Club award, and its reporting on how a predatory lending scheme had corrupted the taxi industry in New York and elsewhere was part of a body of work that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

With more than 1,700 journalists who have reported from over 160 countries since 2019, The Times publishes about 150 pieces of journalism each day, including exclusive reporting on topics ranging from politics to culture to climate to sports to business. The New York Times Presents will continue to tell those stories in a visual and unforgettable way.