Britney Spears fans slam Diane Sawyer for sexist remarks in resurfaced interview

Unearthed footage used in a new Britney Spears documentary is making fans cringe.

The New York Times’ recent documentary “Framing Britney Spears” features part of a 2003 “Primetime” interview that Diane Sawyer conducted with Spears that many believe is laden with misogyny.

Haven’t watched the Britney doc yet, but just watched the entirety of the old Diane Sawyer interview. Absolutely disgusting. Misogyny executed by another woman. No wonder Britney seems so lost. We all betrayed her by allowing that narrative.

— Gracie Lou Freebush (@chcachrycola) February 8, 2021

Spears — who did not participate in the documentary — has not commented on the film’s release, multipleoutletsreport.

Sawyer’s interview with the then-21-year-old pop star, which you can watch in full below, included multiple pearl-clutching remarks regarding Spears’ sexual image and music.

The Times’ unauthorized doc highlights Sawyer’s questions about Spears’ very public 2002 breakup with fellow pop star Justin Timberlake.

“He has gone on television and pretty much said you broke his heart. You did something that caused him so much pain, so much suffering. What did you do?” Sawyer asked a seemingly exasperated Spears, who had asked for a break earlier in the interview when the subject of Timberlake came up.

“I was upset for a while,” Spears responded. “I think we were both really young and it was kind of meant to happen, and I will always love him. He will always have a special place in my heart.”

In 2002, Timberlake dropped his first solo album, “Justified.” The album included the song “Cry Me a River,” which had lyrics about infidelity, and the accompanying video included a Spears-lookalike.

To help promote his album, Timberlake perpetuated the idea that Spears was the reason the two broke up. He also poked fun at her 2002 movie “Crossroads” and made coy suggestions that the two had had a sexual relationship — despite Spears’ saying earlier in her career that she wanted to remain a virgin until marriage.

Also featured in the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary is Sawyer pressing Spears about a comment by Kendel Ehrlich, who was Maryland’s first lady in 2003. In a speech at an anti-violence rally that year, Ehrlich called Spears a bad influence, saying: “Really, if I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would.”

Spears looked shocked in response to those comments, but Sawyer seemed to sympathize with Ehrlich, telling Spears:

“It’s because of the example for kids and how hard it is to be a parent.”

“I’m not here to, you know, babysit her kids,” Spears responded.

Following the film’s release, Spears’ fans expressed outrage over the interview, calling it “painful.”

I’m sorry, why is Diane Sawyer defending someone who threatened to shoot Britney Spears?

— Robyn Johnson (@RobynEJohnson) February 8, 2021

I wonder if Diane Sawyer looks back on this Britney Spears interview and cringes. What a poor interview.

— Melissa (@mels452) February 8, 2021

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” 😐

— Angela Spera (@speradactyl) February 7, 2021

Diane Sawyer made it sound reasonable that the First Lady of Maryland wanted to shoot Britney Spears because being a parent is hard.

— 🔪Sarah Carbiener🌶 (@notanothersarah) February 7, 2021

Watching that @britneyspears movie reminded me how badly women were treated in the 1990s, like the innate misogyny was incredible.

— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) February 9, 2021

The slut shaming, the misogyny— in today’s world, it’s astonishing, but was normal. I was probably around 15 when this interview came out, and it makes me furious for Britney and for all the girls who were exposed to that stew of misogyny and sexual shaming. It was so damaging.

— Corvin Esque (@Corvinesque) February 9, 2021

Meanwhile, Timberlake’s Instagram posts are flooded with comments from fans demanding that he apologize to Spears.

ABC, Sawyer and Spears did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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