Kanye West and Britney Spears both had very public mental health issues. Only one is running for president

The hashtag #FreeBritney has become a trending topic again and it has sparked another conversation that points out how differently Kanye West and Britney Spears were treated after their very public mental health issues.

Over the weekend, West announced that he was planning on running for president during the USA 2020 election.

West, who also gained the support of billionaire Elon Musk, was met with reactions from praise to shock, and of course a flood of hilarious tweets joking about the idea of him taking over from Donald Trump.

But it wasn't long before people began to highlight the massive differences between him and Spears, with many calling for her "freedom" underneath a recent Instagram post where she bizarrely walks in and out of shot.

When Spears had her very public "breakdown" in 2007, and infamously shaved her head, the press was hardly sympathetic, and the aftermath sparked the Free Britney movement.

In case you missed it, Free Britney is a movement of concerned fans who believe that the singer is being abused and controlled by her family and management.

The group alleges that the legal conservatorship, which Spears was placed under following her highly-publicised troubles almost 13 years ago, prevents the singer from controlling her own finances, career or personal life.

Spears hasn’t commented on the movement’s allegations, nor has she ever publicly stated that she disagrees with the terms of her conservatorship or wants it to end.

Meanwhile, Kanye West – who has spoken publicly about his hospitalisation in 2016 (which he calls a "breakthrough, not a breakdown") and subsequent diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Mental health conditions should never deny people the opportunity to succeed in any area they wish to, and indeed, West seems to have bounced back, now having a shot at possibly sitting in the same seat as George Washington, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

But why is the reaction to Britney Spears so different?

Fans popped over to Twitter to share their frustrations over the difference in how the two were treated:

Missy Elliott also jumped on the Free Britney train by showing her support on Twitter:

While others called for West to announce Spears as his running mate.

The #FreeBritney movement went into overdrive last year when the singer suddenly cancelled her upcoming Domination concert series. At the time, Spears cited her father’s health issues as the reason for the cancellation, saying she needed to put “family first”.

But it was reported that Spears’s alleged mental health issues were prompting an indefinite hiatus. Soon after, fans were even more distressed to hear her manager, Larry Rudolph, tell TMZ that his client might never work again.

Publicly accessible records reveal that Britney pays the conservatorship more than $1m a year in legal fees and other expenses.

This includes $15,000 a month to a court-appointed attorney she didn’t choose.

She’s also reportedly prohibited from marrying, voting, having days out with her children, driving or spending money without prior approval.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)