Madonna's Britney Spears Reunion Pitch Has Fans Absolutely Divided

In the months since the #FreeBritney movement celebrated the end of Britney Spears' 13-year conservatorship, it seems life in a post-conservatorship world comes with its own set of complications. Though Spears herself has finally regained control of her life in a legal sense — and by virtue of that, has been able to speak her mind and plan her own future — it seems that other celebrities have since come out of the woodwork to suggest some possible projects. Now, it seems pop icon Madonna, who sang and shared a kiss with Spears during their infamous 2003 MTV Video Music Awards performance, has some ideas of her own.

As Page Six reported on January 26, the "Like a Virgin" singer shared with fans during an Instagram Live Q&A that she would love to team up with Spears in the future for a possible world tour, and floated the idea that she and Spears could recreate their 2003 VMAs lip-lock for stadium-filled audiences during each and every concert. "Hell yeah!" Madonna exclaimed. "Stadium, baby! Me and Britney, what about that?"

As Page Six noted, Madonna has retained a close friendship with Spears since their VMA performance, though they have not worked together in the years following their on-air stunt. Thus, the idea isn't exactly out of the realm of possibility. Though Madonna called the idea "really cool" before suggesting they "could reenact the original [kiss]," the scenario itself has proven to be a bit more controversial than expected.

Madonna's idea for a possible tour with Britney Spears comes with some baggage

Though fans of Britney Spears, in particular, commented that a possible Madonna/Spears reunion would represent a triumph in her life post-conservatorship, with one tweeting her fans "support her decisions, whatever they may be" because "she's FREE to make them," others expressed otherwise. Adherents to the #FreeBritney movement appeared appalled at Madonna's idea. As another Twitter user said: "All these artists want to work with her now but couldn't speak up during the whole 13 years? And her trying to use a kiss as nightly bait for a tour is pretty gross." (Madonna has gone on the record to state she fought behind the scenes on behalf of Spears during her conservatorship, for what it's worth.)

The term "nightly bait" comes with its own set of baggage. In the interceding years since the infamous kiss, many have accused Spears, Madonna, and/or the MTV producers of "queer-baiting," which is generally defined as when a performer uses the presentation of queerness (like a same-sex kiss) for their own benefit to self-promote or otherwise capitalize for their own gain, as one Rolling Stone article explained in 2021. Though the VMA kiss itself is, as writer Jill Gutowitz pointed out in a 2018 piece for the LGBTQ outlet INTO, a celebrated moment of queer visibility at a time when such visibility was rare, it's also left a complex and complicated legacy.