Can you believe it’s been a decade since Britney Spears attacked the paparazzi with an umbrella? It was just days after she had shaved her head when Spears repeatedly swung the item at a pap’s Ford Explorer as she screamed expletives. In honor of the 10-year-anniversary of the infamous meltdown, Daniel Ramos, the paparazzo who was at the receiving end of Spears’ attack is auctioning off the umbrella in question. Ramos told Broadly that he intends to donate half of the proceeds to a charity of Spears’ choosing.
Is this in poor taste? Probably. A decade ago the conversation about mental health was very different. While the world’s biggest pop star was suffering a psychotic break, the world watched with morbid glee, and the paparazzi were relentless. Meanwhile, I can’t recall any publications discussing Spears’ mental state. Compare the way we handled Britney’s episode with Kanye’s meltdown this past summer (which was really but a fraction of Britney’s, in terms of unpredictable public behavior) – there were entire think pieces about the rapper’s mental state. Further, he sought help immediately – a move that, in 2017, was good for both his mental health and his public perception.
So while it’s nice that half of whatever this umbrella fetches will go to a worthy cause (a mental health organization maybe?), Ramos is still using the other half to line his pockets, and dredging up Spears’ darkest public moment in the process.
But still, attacking the paparazzi with an umbrella is kind of G.