“Britney Spears, America’s most famous paradox in pink.”
That was how Diane Sawyer referred the then 21-year-old Britney Spears during their 2003 interview. And that primetime conversation is making headlines almost two decades after the two women sat down together because of its inclusion in “Framing Britney Spears,” the Feb. 5 episode of FX’s docu-series, The New York Time Presents which—in addition to examining the #FreeBritney movement—shines a light on the media’s treatment of the 39-year-old pop star.
Diane’s discussion with Britney is shown several times during the documentary, with viewers criticizing the journalist’s handling of questions about the demise of Britney’s relationship with Justin Timberlake, by asking-slash-accusing, “What did you do?” and the singer’s responsibility to be a role model to young women.
Since “Framing Britney Spears” premiered, critics have flooded Diane’s Instagram accounts with comments about her treatment of Britney during that interview and demanding an apology.
Naturally, we decided to go back and watch the hour-long intimate interview to see if the few clips included in the episode were indicative of the overall tone of the special.
And in a word: Yep.
Diane’s line of questioning was often patronizing and seemingly in pursuit of getting Britney, who was promoting the release her “In the Zone” album, to break down, eventually bringing the entertainer to tears.
Here’s a rundown of all of the moments that raised our eyebrows and left us slack-jawed while watching the infamous 2003 sitdown interview…
Framing Britney Spears is available on Hulu.