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One of the many topics examined in the excellent documentary Framing Britney Spears — which just hit Hulu last week — is the unnecessary cruelty and misogyny that Spears received during her career struggles in the 2000s.


FX / The New York Times / Hulu / YouTube / Via youtube.com

The media was brutal — and late night hosts were no exception. Except, that is, for Craig Ferguson, whose monologue defending Spears during a 2007 episode of The Late Late Show has been making the rounds on the internet post-Framing.


@BritneyHiatus / Twitter / Via Twitter: @BritneyHiatus

The Scottish-born Ferguson hosted CBS’ The Late Late Show from 2005 to 2014 before being replaced by current host James Corden.

The whole nearly 13-minute monologue is below — and it’s worth a watch, as Ferguson starts by expressing regret for his previous celebrity-based jokes before defending Spears against media scrutiny.


youtube.com

“It’s been happening in the media and press recently,” Ferguson said, comparing the media scrutiny to watching America’s Funniest Home Videos: “You’d be laughing at the kid falling over, and then you’d go, ‘Wait a minute, put down the damn camera and help your kid! What the hell is wrong with you?'”

Britney Spears stands on the red carpet at the Once Upon A Time In Hollywood premiere in Hollywood


David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

“People are falling apart! People are dying! That Anna Nicole Smith woman died!,” he said. The studio audience laughed at the mention of Smith’s name, to which Ferguson immediately replied, “It’s not a joke!”

Spears stands on stage at the announcement of her since-cancelled Las Vegas residency Britney Domination


Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Smith, an actor and model, died at the age of 39 in 2007 after overdosing from prescription drugs.

“I’m starting to feel a little bit uncomfortable about making fun of these people,” he continued. “For me, comedy should have a certain amount of joy in it. It should be about always attacking the powerful people — attacking the politicians, and the Trumps, and the blowhards. Go after them!”

Britney Spears performs during the "Piece of Me" tour in 2018


Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

“We shouldn’t be attacking the vulnerable people!,” Ferguson exclaimed before offering a “mea culpa” for his recent jokes. “I think my aim’s been off a bit recently…so tonight, no Britney Spears jokes.”

Spears on the "Piece of Me" tour in 2008


Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

“This woman has two kids,” he said later in the monologue. “She’s 25 years old. She’s a baby herself. She’s a baby.”

Britney Spears at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2018


J. Merritt / Getty Images

Ferguson was obviously right — the scrutiny and criticism Spears faced at that age was far from acceptable in any way, shape, or form. Good of him to be on the right side of history when so many weren’t.

Spears on the red carpet at the Hollywood Beauty Awards in 2018


Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage





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