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After Fox aired the special TMZ Investigates: Britney Spears: Divorce and Despair on Thursday, which called into question the pop star’s mental health, viewers took to social media with disgust over what some considered to be a “hit job.”
The show used various talking heads that included Dr. Drew Pinsky — addiction medicine specialist and media personality — and Dr. Charles Sophy, who is a psychiatrist and also a media personality, along with various TMZ hosts and employees and other music and media figures.
After breaking down the recent split between Spears and husband Sam Asghari, much of the time was spent questioning the end of Spears conservatorship, which was terminated in November of 2021, and just the state of her overall mental health.
With dozens of clips from Spears’ social media accounts and citing "sources close to Britney" as the backdrop, TMZ Executive Producer Harvey Levin and other producers helped set the stage with comments like, “people around her are worried,” and claimed that she is “frighteningly out of control.”
The talking heads also speculated about what could happen if Spears doesn’t get the help they think she needs.
“I’m mortified, you could get a call any minute,” Pinsky said. “In the state she’s going, to where she’s going… that’s the problem with letting these things unravel outside of a conservatorship. When they do things, they do things impulsively and suddenly and dangerously.”
The special also touched on Spears’ alleged overuse of coffee, Red Bull and other caffeinated beverages, and had talking heads wondering about the possibility of her ever going on tour again and suggesting what she should do with her music.
Britney Spears: Divorce and Despair ended with this line from Levin:
“Everyone we’ve spoken to who knows her has deep concern for her. Hopefully she gets the help and support she needs for a more peaceful, stable life.”
But many viewers thought the special was unfair to Spears, considering it a “hit job” and an inaccurate portrayal of mental health, while criticizing TMZ for doing it.
damn #TMZ I just finished watching Britney Spears show you just had on
and you #TMZ are doggin that hell out of that girl ! I feel so bad for her! 🥺
if it’s true or not that was a lot
I feel bad for even watching it now 🙁
— pé is Blaq (@blaqdancer) August 25, 2023
TMZ is evil for what they’re doing to Britney. Just so wrong and messed up. Leave her alone.
— ❈ (@syikesss) August 25, 2023
This TMZ episode on Britney Spears is f*cking pathetic. Shaming Britney Spears for anything & everything. Implying that she needs to be put back in a conservatorship because she’s out of control…
— Jared (@RealJardChatty) August 25, 2023
TMZ is running a disgusting story of Britney Spears and I already know they’re going to paint her as a crazy lady! I hate it so much.@TMZ y’all suck.
— MJ.Bob-Manuel (@Jaeingor) August 25, 2023
Idk why Britney wont sue TMZ for defamation and malice its getting weirdsddd
— louis 🪐 (@louislosesitall) August 25, 2023
How is that TMZ Hulu series about Britney Spears not defamation? Wtf
— ミ☆ (@lawstcuhse) August 25, 2023
TMZ Investigates: Britney Spears: Divorce and Despair aired Thursday on Fox.