Britney Spears’ conservatorship is the subject of the latest buzzy documentary streaming these days. If COVID started with Tiger King on Netflix, let’s hope it ends with Framing Britney Spears on Hulu. Spears’ conservatorship is complicated, and the documentary does a good job of explaining some of the more intricate details. It also paints Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, as the clear villain in the case. He’s not the only person drawing the ire fans of the pop star’s fans though.
A Reformed Paparazzo?
One of the most talked-about interviews in the Framing Britney is with a former member of the paparazzi that hounded Britney Spears for years, Daniel Ramos. While there is a lot to unpack from the documentary, including why the New York Times seems to have jumped into the gossip waters with the likes of E! True Hollywood Story, one thing most everyone is in agreement on is that Ramos tries to paint himself as a former-pap-turned-good, but some of his quotes have really rubbed fans the wrong way. It’s understandable why.
Ramos, if you haven’t watched, took one of the most infamous photos of Spears ever taken. He was one of a handful of photographers following Spears on that fateful day in 2007 when the singer shaved her head and then, in a fit of anger after months and years of being hounded by the gossip press, began beating on Ramos’ truck with an umbrella. The photo was of a bald Spears in mid-breakdown with pure rage in her eyes, and it launched a thousand tabloid covers. Gossip Cop can’t include the photo — we won’t buy paparazzi photos — but we’re sure you know the one. It was also the moment that set in motion the wheels of the California justice system that eventually led to the conservatorship, run by Jamie Spears, in 2008.
So Why Are People So Upset At Daniel Ramos?
Daniel Ramos admits he was drawn to his career by the money, and he admits he made a lot of it with photos of Spears. In the film, as he tries to seemingly rehabilitate his image and maybe give himself peace of mind, he also seems to shirk his part in the downfall of Spears at the time. He even pushes some of the blame of the hundreds of paparazzi taking thousands of photos of Spears on the singer herself, saying, “In the beginning when paparazzis were following Britney, you could tell she enjoyed it. She would give up the shots, waving. She was very friendly, a sweetheart of a girl. It was like she needed us and we needed her. We both needed each other. It was a great kind of a relationship.”
Wrong. He was in it for himself and himself alone, yet he tries to further downplay the constant harassment by him and his pap buddies by saying, “Working on her for so many years, she never gave a clue or information to us that ‘I would appreciate you guys leave me the eff alone.’” Spears often spoke out at the about how impossible life had become with the constant glare of flashbulbs exploding with her every public move. In an interview with Matt Lauer included in the documentary, Spears breaks down in tears when she says her biggest wish is for them to leave her alone. Ramos’ counter? “There were times when she [was] like, ‘Can you leave me alone for the day? But it wasn’t like, ‘Leave me alone forever.’” It was actually that.
There are a lot of villains in this story, and Ramos, despite his pleas to the contrary is one of them.