How time flies. It’s been ten years since Chris Crocker uploaded his passionate, teary defence of Britney SpearsMTV VMAs performance, and “Leave Britney alone!” became part of our vernacular.

A decade is a long ass time, especially in pop culture, so allow us to give you a refresher. 2007 was the year Britney checked into rehab, twice, the first time walking out of the clinic and straight into a hair salon, shaving her own head bald. It was the year she was caught up in a custody battle over her two children with soon-to-be-ex-husband, Kevin Federline. It was the year she was charged with two counts of hit and run after fleeing a car accident because she didn’t have a driver’s license. And to round off the year, in September, she attempts to make her big musical comeback at the MTV Video Music Awards and gives a performance described as like “acting out the classic nightmare of arriving at a party and realising you’re naked while people point and laugh.” (MTV was later accused of taking advantage of the troubled star.)

Even the biggest Britney stans couldn’t deny it: her routine was sloppy. But one fan, tired of his idol’s every mundane trip to the shops in trackies being plastered across tabloids, hit the fuck back.

Chris Crocker. How different our lives would have been without you.

Old mate Chris – who in the ten years since continued to make viral videos for a while, and even released a documentary on his life – is reflecting on the video that sent him from internet fame to full-blown infamy.

“10 years ago on this day, I defended my favourite pop star against the media,” he wrote on Instagram. “While I’m known to do comedy: this was one video that I was serious in.”

He revealed that at the time of the video, his mum, a returned war vet, was going through a crisis that made him particularly sympathetic to Britney’s.

“That year, my mom was battling addiction & became homeless after serving for our country in Iraq. The struggles in my home life and family life made me defensive over any woman going through a hard time.”

He also talked about the fact that the internet (and the world at large) was a far less tolerant place towards the LGBTQIA community back in 2007.

“The internet and YouTube was a very different, less LGBT friendly place at the time. Nothing I said in the video was listened to. I was mocked for my femininity. I was called every gay slur in the book. Talk show hosts questioned if I was a man or woman, after playing the clip.”

Fox News even went so far to compare his curtain backdrop to videos made by Osama Bin Laden.

“I knew there was no way people would take me serious. So I decided that I would play up to the joke everyone thought I was. Realising that telling them about what had actually triggered my emotional reaction (What my mom was battling) wouldn’t be of interest to anyone. So I gave them a cartoon of what they assumed I was, in my public appearances afterward.

“But the truth is and always was about standing up for someone and not standing idly by when you see someone being hurt by others. In the 10 years since this video- A lot of LGBT YouTubers are celebrated for who they are. I often wonder if I had started videos later, if I would’ve been treated differently. But what I will say is this: Even if I got a public beating for standing up for what’s right: I’m happy I did. And I’ll always love Britney Spears ❤️.”

Chris also had a word of warning for people in a separate video reflecting on the ten year anniversary.

“I think that we forget sometimes that the things we post online can last a long time. Here we are ten years later still talking about this. So definitely be cautious about when you post things.”

Oof. Noted.


Image: Chris Crocker