Howard Stern revealed his support for Britney Spears and the fan-driven #FreeBritney movement on his Sirius/XM radio show this week.
The 67-year-old shock jock admitted on the air that he’d been swayed to support the 39-year-old pop legend after viewing the New York Times Presents documentary Framing Britney Spears.
The move is a significant about-face for the host, who has mocked Spears on his radio show for years.
Change of heart: Howard Stern, 67, revealed this week on his Sirius/XM radio show that he supports Britney Spears and the Free Britney movement, despite mocking her for years; seen in 2019 in NYC
‘I think I’m Free Britney now, I think I’m full on Free Britney,’ Stern said while chatting with his longtime co-host Robin Quivers.
The radio fixture wasn’t convinced that Spears was capable of managing her massive estate, but he pointed out that other famous men haven’t been cut off from their fortunes like she has.
He compared her to men who have had public mental health or substance abuse struggles, including Shia LaBeouf, Gary Busey and Charlie Sheen, along with fellow musicians like Ozzy Osbourne and Kanye West.
‘Ozzy [Osbourne] bit the head off of a bat in a business meeting. He’s in charge of his own finances,’ he said.
In the news: The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears delves into her sexist treatment early in her career and her struggles to end her conservatorship from 2008
Switching sides: ‘I think I’m Free Britney now, I think I’m full on Free Britney,’ Stern said while chatting with his longtime co-host Robin Quivers
Not fair: He didn’t think she was capable of managing her estate, but he said men are treated better. ‘Ozzy [Osbourne] bit the head off of a bat in a business meeting. He’s in charge of his own finances,’ he said; Osbourne seen with daughter Kelly in 2020 in LA
Framing Britney Spears examines the Toxic singer’s career from a contemporary perspective.
Many fans of the singer have been outraged at some of the interviews she dealt with early in her career, including a scene with a European journalist who asks her about her breasts.
Diane Sawyer came under fire from viewers (and even the hosts of The Talk) for snippets of her 2003 interview with Spears in which she quizzed her about her breakup with Justin Timberlake and hinted at rumors that she cheated on him.
‘You broke his heart. You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering. What did you do?’ the journalist asked the songstress, then just 22.
Doesn’t hold up: Many fans of the singer have been outraged at some of the interviews she dealt with early in her career, including a 2003 chat where Diane Sawyer seems to blame her for breaking up with Justin Timberlake
Fuel on the fire: Timberlake’s solo hit Cry Me A River, a breakup song featuring a blonde woman resembling Spears, helped fuel the controversy
Timberlake was also criticized for his actions around the time of his breakup with Spears, including his choice to feature a Britney lookalike in his Cry Me A River video and his public comments on their private matters.
The singer recently issued a vague public apology to both Spears and Janet Jackson, whose breast he exposed at Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004. Her career was significantly impacted, but Timberlake never faced any similar consequences.
Stern’s support for Spears’ efforts to end her conservatorship fly in the face of some of his earlier public statements about her.
Personal: Stern asked Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst about a one night stand with Spears in 2003, which he seemed to confirm with song lyrics; seen in 2019 in East Hampton
In 2012, he opined on Britney’s stint as a judge on The X Factor during a press conference at The Friars Club in New York City.
‘I think we’re going to tune in to see her, to see if she can function through the thing,’ he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
‘I think Britney will sit there and eat a lollipop and wear a sexy outfit… I’ll tune in to see what kind of train wreck she is, absolutely.’
In 2003, Stern asked Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst if they’d had sex when he was a guest on the show.
Durst implied that they had hooked up with the lyrics of an unreleased song from his rap–rock band: ‘Ain’t it funny scared to admit it/ Very first night made the Limp dog hit it.’
Not a fan: In 2012, he said Britney would be a ‘train wreck’ on the X Factor. ‘I think we’re going to tune in to see her, to see if she can function through the thing,’ he said; Spear seen with (L-R) L. A. Reid, Demi Lovato and Simon Cowell