Madonna has sparked criticism by comparing Britney Spears’ ongoing conservatorship battle to slavery.
The pop legend is the latest celebrity who has expressed outrage following Spears’ emotional court testimony last month; but her choice of words has caused its own controversy online.
Madonna, who collaborated with Spears on the 2003 single ‘Me Against the Music’ and famously kissed onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards that year, took to her Instagram Story on Friday to compare the younger singer’s situation to ‘slavery’.
“Give this woman her life back,” Madonna posted Friday, 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!”
While many fans of Spears have applauded Madonna for finally speaking out in defense of the ‘…Baby One More Time’ singer, several others have also reprimanded her for her poor choice of words.
“Somebody needs to tell Madonna Hollywood slavery and Chattel Slavery is two different things. And once again white people including themselves in black folks situations or trauma,” tweeted Magnolia.
“Why would Madonna bring up slavery being abolished in defense of what Britney is going through??” asked Twitter user Visionairess.
Others have pulled out the dictionary or simply Googled to clap back: “Just google word “slavery”. What Britney’s going to through is called forced labor or human trafficking. Basically the same thing as slavery. Madonna didn’t pick the right words & shouldn’t have said “slavery was abolished” cuz not really. For most part she is not wrong though!,” wrote JW Philosophy.
Even as the debate continues on social media, the echoes of Spears’ bombshell testimony from June 25 continues to have ripple effects even today, where the singer stated she was forced to work nonstop, was being drugged against her wishes and wasn’t being allowed to remove an intrauterine contraceptive device from her body that was preventing her from having children.
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 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.
The next court date in Spears’ conservatorship case is July 14. – With additional inputs from Los Angeles Times.