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THE VIEW IN REVIEW

Meghan McCain Calls to Free Britney Spears: 'She's Being Kept as a Slave'

"This is a human trafficking issue and should be treated as such," said The View host.
  • Meghan McCain called for an end to Britney Spears' conservatorship during a passionate monologue on The View this morning. (Photo: ABC)
    Meghan McCain called for an end to Britney Spears' conservatorship during a passionate monologue on The View this morning. (Photo: ABC)

    Meghan McCain is joining the growing list of stars calling to free Britney Spears from her conservatorship. In an impassioned speech on The View Thursday morning, McCain accused Jamie Spears, the pop star's father, of keeping Britney "as a slave," and she insisted that the FBI must "extradite her from her home" immediately in order to prevent further abuse. "I hope to god they get her out of this environment and this situation today," said McCain. "This is a human trafficking issue and should be treated as such."

    On Wednesday, Spears spoke out against her conservatorship during a virtual court appearance before a California judge. The pop star insisted that the conservatorship, which has been in place for 13 years, has "traumatized" her, and she accused her conservators (including her father) of forcing her to keep an IUD in place to prevent her from having more children. "I just want my life back," said Spears, adding that she's been forced to work against her will. "I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking."

    McCain, like many of Britney's fans, agreed with the pop star's argument. "I was absolutely sick to my stomach listening to the audio. I felt physically ill," said The View co-host. "This is a woman who is pleading for her freedom, pleading for her life. By any card-carrying definition — this is a definition of human trafficking. She is being forced to work against her will. She is being forced to be put on medication."

    "She's ostensibly being kept as a slave and working as a slave for her family and these conservators," continued McCain. "If these are people that will do this to this woman for 13 years — 13 years! — what can they do right now [to] retaliate? I actually believe this has reached the level that the FBI needs to be involved and extradite her from her home, away from these people, at this very moment because these are people that could continue the abuse in real time. I think it's that extreme."

    After the commercial break, the co-hosts discussed the conservatorship dispute with Liz Day, co-creator of The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears, a documentary that brought Spears' situation into the mainstream. When it came time for McCain to speak, she told Day that she's "really furious" about Spears' plight, adding, "Apparently the state of California is going to allow open slavery to happen, and her family as clear slave owners are allowed to go unchecked."

    "She says she was isolated, medicated, forced to work against her will, her capacity to reproduce — this is one of the most damning things — was controlled," continued McCain. "What does it say about our society and our culture that [we were] at the time, not wanting to hear or trust this woman, and do you think we've learned from our mistakes? And what can we do just as average Americans to help her right now because I don't believe she's safe! These are people that could do god knows what to her — and honestly, thank god this woman hasn't killed herself!"

    Day managed to sidestep the intensity of McCain's questioning, but she did note that Spears' situation "raises the question of who might be getting this sort of treatment today, and 20 years later we'll look back on it and think, wow, that was unfair the way that they were judged." Added Day, "You note about the human rights issues of it all ... the letter of the law, the rules of conservators in California, can really differ what plays out on the ground, behind closed doors."

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    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: Meghan McCain, Framing Britney Spears, The View, Britney Spears