For months now, the tumultuous life of Britney Spears has been making tabloid headlines.
And over the past week, the tale of Britney’s ongoing legal battle against her father has gained more mainstream attention than ever before.
That’s largely because of Framing Britney Spears, a New York Times-produced documentary that sheds new light on the struggles that have defined the pop icon’s adult years.
Perhaps more importantly, the film takes a big-picture view of Spears’ fight for personal autonomy and considers her mistreatment by the news media and the recording industry in the context of the larger social ills plaguing young woman.
When it took place in 2003, for example, Diane Sawyer’s interview with Spears may have seemed relatively harmless (although it’s hard to imagine how).
Revisited in 2021, it’s easily recognized for what it is — an hourlong public shaming of an innocent young woman.
This re-examination Britney’s mistreatment by Adults Who Should Have Known Better has prompted fans and media outlets to take a second look at the exploitation of other young, female stars.
On Monday, for example, David Letterman received a world of backlash for a 2013 interview in which he mocked Lindsay Lohan for checking into rehab.
Now, another troubled actress who enjoyed full-blown A-lister status in the ’90s and early-2000s has come forward to complain about the manner in which she was disregarded by industry that made her famous.
Following her work in films like The Big Lebowski and American Pie, Tara Reid quickly became one of the most in-demand talents in Hollywood.
But as her partying and substance abuse issues began to overshadow her talent, she was callously tossed aside without any of the second chances that are so commonly afforded to young male stars.
“I didn’t work for a while. That was really frustrating. ‘[It bothered me] that [people thought] I was just a party girl and thought I wasn’t anything else because that wasn’t true…It didn’t make sense to get punished for having fun,” Reid told the Daily Mail this week.
“I never got in trouble or got a DUI or do anything bad really. So I feel like it wasn’t right,” she continued.
“I felt really bullied by the studios and a lot of people and very misjudged.”
Reid says the lack of respect she received from casting directors and Hollywood in general prompted her to move behind the camera and turn her attention toward producing.
“That’s also one of the reasons why I started to do this because I’m like, ‘If I don’t fix this, it’s not going to get fixed,'” she said.
Reid enjoyed a brief resurgence in popularity thanks to her work in the Sharknado films, but Hollywood is loaded with male stars who partied all through their twenties without experiencing so much as a hiccup in their careers.
Hopefully, 2021 will become a year in which stars who were written off as no-account tabloid staples are granted the second chances they deserve.
And perhaps Tara will turn her producing talents toward a documentary that will lead to re-evaluation of her life and career.