'Leave Britney Alone' Viral Sensation Chris Crocker Was Right All Along

Photo: YouTube / Chris Crocker's Instagram
Chris Crocker
Contributor

Long before "Free Britney" was a hashtag, Britney Spears stans found themselves united by a viral rallying cry — "Leave Britney Alone!"

The person responsible was Chris Crocker, whose passionate video made them a laughingstock and viral joke.

And looking back now, it's easy to see they were right all along.

In the two-minute video, which was originally uploaded to YouTube in 2007, Crocker said everyone should leave Britney Spears alone.

"How f—ing dare anyone out there make fun of Britney after all she has been through!" they said. "Leave Britney alone! Please!"

Crocker's goal was to defend Spears from the tabloids and paparazzi, explaining that they didn't want to see Britney turn into Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007 due to overdose.

"Anyone who has a problem with her, you deal with me," they continued. "Because she's not well right now. Leave her alone."

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The emotional video was one of the first to go viral on Youtube, racking up over 35 million views and showing up in news segments on major networks like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Today Show, Maury, Jimmy Kimmel Live and more.

The core message of Crocker's video could be summed up in their statement that "All you people care about is readers and making money off of her."

And given what we learned during Britney's court appearance on June 23 as she shared her feelings about her 13-year conservatorship, the truth of their words rings all the more true.

Crocker may have been one of the first to really notice how much Spears was struggling even before "Free Britney" movement launched by the "Framing Britney Spears" documentary, which shed light on the atrocities Spears is believed to face at the hands of her conservators, namely her father James Spears.

Crocker could not have been more woke when they made the video more than a decade ago, acknowledging Spears' plight seemingly before anyone else.

What happened to Chris Crocker, known by some as "the Leave Britney alone guy"?

Today, Crocker, 33, lives in Bristol, Tennessee, caring for their grandmother.

They work in the sex industry, running a popular OnlyFans page.

In April, Crocker sold the original "Leave Britney Alone" video as an NFT for $41,000 to an anonymous buyer in order as a way to reclaim it.

"I felt like a lot of people might misconstrue why I wanted to sell it," Crocker said. "But the real reason is because I felt like I took a lot of hits — you know, literal hits," adding that they had been "physically assaulted at gay clubs,' received death threats, and felt as if the gay community was 'embarrassed that I was a representation for them.'"

Crocker additionally shared on Twitter that they intended to use the money to help their grandmother and potentially fund their transition.

On their Instagram account, they have discussed taking "baby steps" toward transitioning, addressing the barriers they've face due to their career and living in a small town.

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Following the release of the New York Times documentary "Framing Britney Spears," Crocker posted a statement on Instagram calling out the negative reaction to "Leave Britney Alone" as transphobic.

At the time, they received tons of backlash, ranging from mockery by celebrities to death threats.

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Fox News commentators questioned Crocker's gender, even calling them a "she/he," followed by needless questioning of their gender rather than focusing on the content, and comparing the fabric backdrop of the video to Osama Bin Laden's.

In the statement, Crocker wrote: "Me saying Leave Britney Alone was never really the issue, Michael Moore said it & no one batted an eyelash… the reason no one took me seriously was because I was a gender-bending teenager and the reaction to me was transphobic."

Crocker ended the post by saying, "I hope not only Britney gets the freedom she deserves, but that Femme queer people are not tortured in the media when showcasing humanity."

On the day of Spear's hearing, Crocker posted on their Instagram story saying, "I never know how to speak on anything because I don't want it to be about me, this is about Britney."

They're exactly right.

The conversation should have been focused on how Spears felt from the beginning, not on what other people thought of her.

As Crocker said in their viral video, the media made major mistakes in the beginning by following, stalking and criticizing Spears at such a young age.

It's time we listen to Crocker and leave Britney alone.

And apologize to Chris Crocker while we're at it.

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Kat Mackay is a writer who covers entertainment and good news