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Craig Ferguson is making headlines for coming to Britney Spears' defense when no other celebrities appeared to.
Following the release of "Framing Britney Spears," the eye-opening episode of The New York Times Presents docu-series, many got a closer look at the pop star's conservatorship battle and what her devoted fans are doing to help her break free.
In the wake of the special, which aired on Feb. 5 on FX and is streaming on Hulu, people criticized how the media treated the 39-year-old star, as her private turmoil became tabloid fodder. Diane Sawyer is currently facing backlash for her 2003 interview with the "Gimme More" singer. Moreover, Justin Timberlake has also been called out for how he portrayed Britney following their breakup in 2002.
However, there's one celebrity who is receiving praise for showing Britney some grace in the mid-2000s: Craig Ferguson.
A video from the host's The Late Late Show monologue in 2007 has resurfaced online and it's gone viral for the message the 58-year-old comedian shared that night.
"I'm gonna talk about something a little bit different tonight...," he told the crowd at the time. "I want to talk about something that's been bothering me for a little while now."
In the clip, Craig admitted that he's known for making fun of celebrities on his show, which ended in 2014. However, he recalled seeing things in a different light after meeting Kevin Costner at an event, who he had previously joked about.
"At what price am I doing this stuff," Craig remembered thinking to himself. "And I started to think of the effect this has on real people and it's been needling at me a little bit ever since... People are falling apart. People are dying."
"That Anna Nicole Smith woman, she died. It's not a joke," he said after the audience laughed. "It stops being funny. She's got a six week old or six month old kid. What the hell is that? I'm starting to feel uncomfortable about making fun of these people."
While Craig said he felt "comedy should have a sentiment of joy in it," he also noted, "We shouldn't be attacking the vulnerable people."
"So, tonight, no Britney Spears jokes. Here's why: The kind of weekend she had, she was checking into rehab, she was shaving her head, getting tattoos, that's what she was doing this weekend. This Sunday, I was 15 years sober. I looked at her weekend and I looked at my own weekend, and I thought I rather have my weekend. But what she was going through reminded me of what I was doing. It reminds me of where I was 15 years ago when I was living like that. I'm not saying Britney Spears is an alcoholic... but she clearly needs help."
The Scottish star later opened up about his own journey with sobriety. He also explained that while everyone should be held accountable for their actions, he urged the media to have some compassion.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">So <a href="https://twitter.com/CraigyFerg?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CraigyFerg</a> trending and I'll say this:<br><br>I watched his show every night and I remember watching that monologue of him talking about not joking about Britney Spears. It made me a lifelong fan because I saw respect. I was in the middle of my own terrible mental phase. Love him.</p>— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) <a href="https://twitter.com/cristela9/status/1359152068305580038?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 9, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Of the now-viral video, comedian Cristela Alonzo wrote on Twitter, "So @CraigyFerg trending and I'll say this: I watched his show every night and I remember watching that monologue of him talking about not joking about Britney Spears. It made me a lifelong fan because I saw respect. I was in the middle of my own terrible mental phase. Love him."
"i remember watching the craig ferguson britney spears monologue live and how much it changed me as a person and formed my empathetic thinking at a time when i really needed it," another Twitter user shared, "i firmly believe i would be a much nastier person if i hadn't seen that at that very time in my life."
"The time when @CraigyFerg refused to make fun of Britney Spears is one of the greatest moments in the history of television," someone else added.
Sadly, Craig was one of the few public figures to speak out against the treatment of Britney at the time. In the docu-series, Perez Hilton described the singer's crises as "good for business."
Paparazzo Daniel Ramos, who captured photos of Britney's infamous umbrella incident, claimed the "Womanizer" crooner "never gave a clue or information to us that, 'I don't appreciate you guys, leave me the eff alone.'"
Off-camera, the interviewer asked, "What about when she said 'leave me alone?'" to which he replied, "It wasn't like 'leave me alone forever,' you know what I mean?"
Since the Britney special aired, many A-listers have shared their support for her, including Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves and more. To get insight into the biggest moments from "Framing Britney Spears," click here.