Leave Britney Alone! Kid Signs TV Deal

Blogger made famous for his teary defense of Britney to star in reality show.


Sept. 20, 2007 — -- Chris Crocker, the Internet sensation whose tear-filled video blog beseeching the public to "leave Britney alone" received more than 8 million hits on YouTube, has signed a deal to star in a reality show.

"It's going to pretty much be the 'Chris Crocker experience,'" Rasha Drachkovitch, co-founder of 44 Blue Productions told Variety magazine. "We consider him a rebel character that people will find interesting. He's going to be a TV star."

Variety reported that the Crocker show will be a "docusoap" centered on the gay 19-year-old, who lives in a small Tennessee town with his grandmother.

Amid all the trash talk that filled the blogosphere last week in the aftermath of Britney Spears' lackluster MTV VMA appearance, the Internet also played host to a series of fan-produced apologias, none more popular than the one posted by Crocker.

These Zapruder-like frame-by-frame video analyses by Spears' supporters seek to explain her sloppy stylings and costume choices, along with near hysterical pleas to end the criticism.

The plea produced by Crocker, which is a pseudonym, was so overdramatic in its call for a moratorium on trashing Britney that one could not help but to first laugh at his histrionics, then wonder if this was legitimately heartfelt or just an act, then rewatch it several times, and then ultimately e-mail the link to friends.

The video "Leave Britney Alone!" has had more than 8 million hitson YouTube, and has become -- perhaps as Crocker intended -- something new for the Internet to talk about rather than Britney's performance at Sunday's VMAs.

"Her song is called 'Gimme More' for a reason," Crocker cries in the video, addressing the camera through tear-smudged eyeliner and from underneath a bed sheet, "because all you people want is more, more, more, more, more!"

"Leave her alone," he wails, "you're lucky she even performed for you bastards."

Crocker is a complicated character. He wouldn't disclose his real name to ABC News, but said he was 19, lived in a small town in Tennessee and wanted to be an actor. Though the video is perfectly amateurish, many of the photos on his MySpace page look professionally shot and he admitted the posted clip was his second take.

He described many of the 64 other videos on his page as performance pieces, but insisted that his latest polemic was the real deal, an emotional request to, well, leave Britney alone.

"There's been a lot of speculation that because I do a lot of acting in my videos, that this wasn't actually a real moment," Crocker said.

Crocker has been posting videos on YouTube for six months and has acquired quite a fan base.

A representative from LOGO, MTV's gay-themed channel, confirmed that Crocker had met with them to pitch a television show but that nothing was in development.

"I made the video in the heat of the moment. She needs to hear someone sticking up for her. Even people who stick up for her don't do it to the extent that I want to, I've been a fan since I don't remember, and I wanted to fulfill my duty," Crocker said.

Despite Crocker's defense, however, he knows Britney didn't bring her A-game to the VMAs.

"I'm not delusional. People are making all sorts of excuses, saying her heel broke, or MTV couldn't afford the insurance for the magic act she wanted to do, or she heard [host and comedienne] Sarah Silverman's jokes about her. I don't care why she screwed up," he said.

Crocker said he has received a lot of flack for this and previous videos and could therefore relate to Britney being maligned. Comments from YouTube users posting on his video ranged from "Seek therapy NOW. This is NOT normal behavior" to "someone please shoot this fa**ot."

"We're both black sheep. We're both uninhibited artists. Let people draw their own conclusions," he said.

According to psychologists familiar with fan behavior, Crocker's feelings of relating to Spears and wanting to support her are pretty normal for loyal fans, especially teenagers.

"Adolescence is always a time of hysteria and Britney Spears is a part of everything," said Stuart Fischoff, senior editor of the Journal of Media Psychology.

"It's not unusual for adolescents to vent, only now, everyone has a forum on the net. They can express their love, hate, outrage or any other thoughts with like-minded people. These kids can identify with Britney and can feel certain empathy for what she is going through because many of them have been ridiculed," he said.

Crocker told ABCNEWS.com and has expressed in earlier videos that he feels persecuted in his small Southern town for being gay.

"People see something in the celebrity they identify with," celebrity psychologist Jennifer Berman said.

"Britney is an underdog now and people relate to that, and feel impassioned. Because many of them have been underdogs," she said.

Crocker's video undoubtedly reflects real fan sympathies being voiced on the Web.

In an effort to clear Britney's name, fans have pored over footage from her performance analyzing every misstep to explain just what went wrong.

In a video entitled "VMA Video Truth" YouTube user spencergaum breaks down Spears' performance frame by frame in an attempt to prove that the heel of her boot broke while dancing, which resulted in such a slipshod showing.

Jordan Miller, webmaster of the popular Spears fansite breatheheavy.com, explains that although the singer's fans are "sometimes her harshest critics" there has been a real effort online "to love and support Britney through this difficult time."

"She just needs to get back into the swing of things," he told ABCNEWS.com, echoing the sentiments of many of her fans. "Give her a little more time, she'll kill it."

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