Iranian state media ‘trolls’ Tehran-born husband Britney Spears
Britney Spears has expressed her solidarity with the Iranian protest movement, leading the country’s state news agency to slam the superstar. This is part of the regime’s social media strategy.
It was one of countless tweets expressing solidarity with the Iranian protest movement, which has been going on across Iran for nearly a month following the death of young Kurdish woman Jina Mahsa Amini. But it was written by Britney Spears.
“Me and my husband support the people of Iran who are fighting for freedom,” tweeted the American popstar, who has been married to model, actor and fitness trainer Sam Asghari since June. Ashari was born in Tehran and came to the United States as a teenager. On his Instagram profile, he regularly posts about the current situation in Iran. In a video, he criticized the Iranian “terrorist regime”.
The Iranian news agency is now trying to discredit Britney Spears. Iran’s state-controlled IRNA news agency took advantage of Spears’ tweet to remind that she had been under her father’s guardianship for several years and had mental health issues. Through this personal attack, they seem to imply that Britney Spears is not qualified to make statements on the news.
This social media strategy can be seen as an attempt by Iranian state media to divert people’s attention from the bloody protests and shift the debate.
The Iranian news agency had previously used the same strategy in reaction to a message from American pop star Shakira. The singer had written on Twitter and Instagram that her heart was “with Mahsa Amini’s family and with the women and schoolgirls of Iran and with all those who fight for freedom of expression”.
IRNA then posted a meme claiming that Shakira was unaware of police violence against women in the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Britney Spears and Shakira aren’t the only ones who have voiced their support for protests in Iran. Model Bella Hadid, musician Justin Bieber and actresses Olivia Coleman and Angelina Jolie also raised their voices. Many celebrities have cut the locks of their hair as a sign of solidarity.
The winner of the German Book Prize 2022, non-binary author Kim of the Horizon, went even further: they shaved off all their hair during their acceptance speech in Frankfurt on October 18, 2022.