Britney Spears’s treatment by her fans, family and the media during her rise to fame is being reassessed in what many hope is a more socially-conscious era.
People are sharing magazine covers and interviews from Spears’s youth in the wake of the Framing Britney Spears documentary and changes made to her controversial conservatorship to highlight the damaging treatment she was subjected to.
One such interview, dating back to 2003, was conducted by Fox News host Tucker Carlson – then aCNN commentator.
At the start of the interview, Carlson showed the then 21-year-old Spears a magazine cover in which she’s clutching her stomach with the caption “Britney’s belly busting lunch”.
Despite having not seen the cover before, Spears took it in her stride, coolly responding “I guess my food must have been really good.”
Carlson also asked the star which kind of Pepsi she drinks, seemingly sceptical that Spears was really a fan of the product she was known for promoting.
Once again, Spears has the perfect response: “my favourite kind of Pepsi? Pepsi’s Pepsi”.
Remember when Britney destroyed Tucker Carlson? Ahead of her time.
He also asked her about her kiss with Madonna (and what her mother thought about it) and change in image from her Mickey Mouse Club days.
Because, you know, it’s unusual for a child to grow up.
Carlson’s post-interview conversation with CNN host Anderson Cooper also caused revulsion. After Cooper quipped about Spears’s chewing gum, Carlson said:
“She seemed very young. Younger than a person who would bear her midriff. I mean, the impression I came away with was that it would be wrong to have adult thoughts about Britney Spears. She may be 21 but she seems, again, young.”
Cooper than commented that he doubts Spears really watches CNN as she claimed.
Later in his career, Carlson made openly misogynistic comments about Spears. He called her and Paris Hilton “the biggest white whores in America” on his radio show in the Noughties.
The unearthed comment caused controversy when Carlson’s own reputation was reassessed in 2019.