Britney Spears fans call out Diane Sawyer over 2003 interview featured in new documentary: 'I want an apology'

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Diane Sawyer is facing backlash for a 2003 interview she did with Britney Spears after it was featured in a documentary about the pop star. 

The “Toxic” singer is the subject of an unauthorized documentary titled “The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears” that delves into the media’s handling of her during her early days of fame as well as her ongoing conservatorship battle with her father. 

In one portion of the documentary, footage from Sawyer’s “ABC Primetime Thursday” interview is used. At the time, it was billed as a “no holds barred” look into the singer’s personal life amid her very public split from fellow pop star Justin Timberlake. 

People in the documentary note how the media painted Spears as the heartbreaker in the narrative of their celebrity breakup and used Sawyer’s interview to demonstrate that point. 

“He has gone on television and pretty much said you broke his heart,” Sawyer says to the then-22-year-old singer. “You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering… What did you do?”

Diane Sawyer is being taken to task over a 2003 interview featured in the new Britney Spears documenatry. 
(Getty Images)

Elsewhere in the interview, Sawyer also asked the star about a death threat she received from former Maryland first lady Kendel Ehrlich, who said during an anti-domestic violence conference at the time that she would shoot Spears if given the opportunity. 

“Oh that’s horrible,” Spears says. “That’s really bad.”  

“Because of the example for kids and how hard it is to be a parent,” Sawyer says, seemingly defending Ehrlich’s remarks.

“Well, that’s really sad that she said that. Ew,” Spears responds. “I’m not here to, you know, babysit her kids.”

The portion of the documentary concludes with Spears crying and asking to stop the interview after Sawyer asks her about having a particularly difficult year.

Years later, after being painted in a new light to many by the documentary, people are taking to social media to bring Sawyer to task for the interview. 

“Watching Framing Britney Spears and I just want to say I wonder how Diane Sawyer sleeps at night,” one person wrote.

“The paparazzi, misogyny, the media, and slut shaming all broke Britney Spears. Everyone involved, from Diane Sawyer, to Justin Timberlake, to late night hosts should feel ashamed of themselves,” someone else wrote.

“Diane Sawyer owes Britney Spears a thousand apologies,” a third user noted.

“wow i want an apology from Diane Sawyer to Britney EXPEDITIOUSLY !!!!”  someone else wrote.


“There’s lots to discuss in this Britney Spears doc, but feels like much more time needs to be devoted to the part where a politician’s wife says Britney should be SHOT for the way she dresses and respected journalist Diane Sawyer is like ‘well, she’s a concerned mother,'” added another. 


Representatives for ABC did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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