Why Framing Britney Spears Almost Made John Mayer Cry

The documentary Framing Britney Spears didn't leave many dry eyes in the house after viewers realized the intense scrutiny the pop star has endured, one of which being singer-songwriter John Mayer.

"I almost cried five times during that," the "Who Says" artist said about watching the documentary while chatting with pal Andy Cohen on Feb. 22, 2021, for his SiriusXM radio show. Although he highlighted how many viewers are chalking up Spears' media mayhem to a sign of the times, Mayer said that as a fellow entertainer, he focused in on how he related to her pain.

"To see the sadness in this human being... I was on the edge of tears five times because if you understand what this business/industry/lifestyle does to a person, to go through this and come out the other side okay is to have infinite grace for those who struggle with it," he added. However, what he found most striking was how vastly different the media framed him as a man than his female counterparts. Keep scrolling for more details.

John Mayer thinks gender played a role in Britney's media scrutiny

Of course, when we think of early aughts celebrity royalty, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears come to mind, but so does John Mayer. However, our favorite blondes were maligned as unstable party girls and endured public trauma, while Mayer was idolized as a player and made it out "okay," as he told Andy Cohen, despite his share of missteps and public backlash. Mayer chalked it up to unfair gender-based mistreatment.

"I have a very strong feeling that a lot of these things that happen to female performers is endemic to being female," the "New Light" singer said via SiriusXM radio on Feb. 22, 2021. "Why do so many men emerge going, 'Learned my lesson. Yes, I got dinked in the head, but I'm back, baby,'" he added, comparing the female and male entertainer experience.

"I watched it with such grace for someone who got much more maligned by the inhuman experiment of fame than I did," Mayer continued. "And I go, 'Why did I get through that? Why did I find my way through that obstacle course? What was afforded to me stylistically?' The stylistic difference of being an outlaw. If you're a man, you're an outlaw. If you're a woman, you're kind of crazy. And when I watched that through that lens, my heart just ached the whole time."