A recently resurfaced episode of US game show Family Feud has sparked outrage over its "disgusting" treatment of embattled pop star Britney Spears and her personal struggles.
In the clip from 2008, which was later shared on YouTube, then-host John O'Hurley asks contestants to 'name something that Britney Spears has lost in the past year'.
Contestants then gleefully begin buzzing in with answers such as 'her husband,' 'her hair' and 'her mind' as the crowd cheers.
Other answers that appeared on the board included 'her children,' 'her fans' and 'her respect/dignity.'
The "Hit Me Baby One More Time" icon had experienced a very public breakdown in the previous year which saw her struggles with her mental health, her split from her husband Kevin Federline and, most notably, her decision to shave her head splashed across newspapers worldwide.
In 2008, Britney was hospitalised after police came to her home and believed her to be under the influence of drugs. The mum-of-two then lost custody of her young sons, Sean and Jayden Federline and was placed under the conservatorship of her father, Jamie Spears.
Britney fans hit back
The Family Feud episode was featured in the recent New York Times-produced Hulu documentary, Framing Britney Spears, prompting fans and #FreeBritney supporters to take to social media and slam the 'appalling' game show.
"Back in 2008, #FamilyFeud asked a question “name something Britney Spears has lost in the past year.” The clapping, the excitement, at the expense of someone’s mental health. Absolutely disgusting.
"How have we let these things be ACCEPTABLE in our society? #framingbritneyspears," one fan tweeted.
"I think the moment that really horrified me in #FramingBritneySpears is that clip from a Family Feud episode: “Things Britney Lost in the Past Year”
"Imagine your darkest moments being reduced to a gleeful topic on a game show. Completely surreal," added another.
One fan demanded that the producers apologise to Britney for using her personal struggles for entertainment.
"The people who were producing #FamilyFeud with that segment regarding #FreeBritney owe Britney an apology," they tweeted.
"That was appalling, and the fact everyone was laughing made it worse," replied another user.
What is Framing Britney Spears about?
According to a promo for Framing Britney Spears, the feature-length film promises a “re-examination of her career and a new assessment of the movement rallying against her court-mandated conservatorship, capturing the unsavoury dimensions of the American pop-star machine.”
Britney, her family and her ex-husband Kevin Federline all reportedly declined to be involved in the doco. Instead, producers have done a deep dive into the last 20 years of Britney's career using archival footage and interviews with childhood friends, former personal assistants and even a lawyer who once worked on her conservatorship case.
Unfortunately for Aussie followers of the #FreeBritney movement, Framing Britney Spears isn't available to stream down under as of yet.
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