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‘Selena: The Series’ writers reveal Netflix disrespected the staff & Selena’s Story

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Picture courtesy of Víctor Ceballos/Netflix

Everything that happens in the dark comes to light!

The dream job of Glady’s Rodriguez, TV writer for Selena: The Series, slowly turned into deception.

Like everyone else, when the series was first announced in 2019, fans were overly excited. The story of Selena being on the screen was something to celebrate, or so we thought.

Fans had high hopes that the series would have an honest and accurate portrayal of the beloved singer’s life, especially with her father and sister, Abraham and Suzette Quintanilla, collaborating with Netflix.

However, as soon as the trailer was released, people went to Twitter to criticize the acting and the costumes. Also, how it was not up to par with the 1997 film or what Selena’s story deserved.

To add, staff and writers from the series are now saying Netflix did not provide enough financial support to do her story justice, according to Yvonne Villareal from Los Angeles Times.

“I should have seen these red flags from the beginning,” Rodriguez said.

Instead of joining Netflix’s roaster of big-budget U.S. originals, the series was placed as a Latin American original came with a limited budget. The LA Times reported, according to multiple sources, the series was prohibited under $2 million per episode, including specific costumes, makeup, and set needs. On the other hand, the TV series “The Crown” cost about $13 million per episode at launch.

The series received critical backlash from fans expressing disappointment in the costumes and wig choices, especially for iconic outfits.

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Picture courtesy of Sara Khalid/Netflix

Henry Robles, the co-executive producer on the series, said, “The show sort of experienced what Selena experienced. From the beginning, she wanted to sing in English. But people didn’t know what to do with her. The music industry didn’t know how to categorize [her] or they expected certain things of her because she was Mexican American. And it’s similar to this show.”

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Picture courtesy of Netflix

As mentioned earlier, the series was ordered as a Latin American original, but because of Selena’s popularity in Mexico, according to a Netflix spokesperson. While the show was filmed in Mexico, the writers claim they were not paid equally to what their U.S. counterparts would have paid.

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Also, they said they were overworked, being expected to complete two seasons a total of 18 episodes in about 20 weeks which is the usual timeframe for about eight to ten episodes, according to the LA Times. Eventually, the schedule extended by four months.

Furthermore, the LA Times reported that half of the show’s audience came from the U.S., where it spent its first week at the No. 1 spot. Even though the results were not necessary to know Selena has a large fanbase in the U.S.

Jamie Dávila, president/co-founder of Campanario Entertainment, which produced the series, said, “We knew ‘Selena: The Series’ could be huge hit, so we were very saddened when we pitched it to several traditional networks in Hollywood and no one bought it,” according to The Times. “When Netflix came into the picture, we were thrilled that the biggest global platform saw the potential of a series about a cultural icon whose reach transcends borders and cultures.”

The fans and writers were dedicated to being a part of the series to pay homage to Selena. The writers said their love for Selena drove them to take the job despite the low wages.

You know, anything for Selena.

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Picture courtesy of Forbes

Rodriguez said she feels like she has “a little of PTSD” from the show: “I feel like our work was cheapened from the start. We were never given a fair chance…Representation is what we want but it goes beyond that – we want to be treated equally.”

Nevertheless, showrunner Moisés Zamora calls the experience “a learning lesson.”

Zamora said, “The fact that we were able to get 14 Latinx writers to take on this thing, with all the challenges we faced… my goal is to continue making the case that our stories are worth telling – they deserve as much as any other production. I’m really proud that we got to make an incredible show given what we were given.”

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