Netflix had a chance to win with Selena: the series, but now that Parts 1 and 2 have been released, many writers have shared disappointment and frustration. A new Los Angeles Times item details how they thought their “work was cheap,” especially compared to other Netflix originals. A major point of contention would be that the project was commissioned as a Latin American production and therefore had a relatively small budget which affected their remuneration.
“I feel like our work has been belittled from the start,” said Gladys Rodriguez, executive co-producer of the series. Time. “We were never given a fair chance. “
The largely English-language series was not made as an American original, although it would have made sense for it to be. It follows the life and career of late singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, who became a cultural icon in the 1990s. While she was particularly famous in Latin America, she was an American of Mexican descent, born and raised in Texas. , and also had a considerable number of followers in the United States. A Netflix spokesperson, however, told the Time that it was the singer’s enduring popularity in Mexico that led the team of Latin American originals to commission the project in series.
Still, Quintanilla-Pérez’s star status in the United States matters even now – and the Netflix audience showed it early on. In the first 28 days after Selenathe premiere of December 24, 25 million households watched it, half of them US viewers, by deadline. The show topped the U.S. Top 10 in its first week and also topped corresponding lists in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.
Still, the promising early numbers don’t seem to match the response to the series well. Selena has just one 25% average score with the tomatometer, and its average audience score is 58% at the time of publication. Showrunner Moisés Zamora said they did “an incredible show considering what we were given” which was well under $ 2 million per episode, according to the Time‘sources. Meanwhile, some of Netflix’s highly acclaimed series, such as Strange things and The crown, to have budgets of $ 12 million and $ 13 million per episode, according to Screen Rant.
the Selena the budget had an impact on the minimum rates of pay writers could receive under the rules of the Writers Guild of America, according to the Time. As a result, they said they felt undercompensated and overworked. Rodriguez even said she suffered “a little bit of PTSD” from the experience. (Netflix told the point of sale, via a spokesperson, that it believed the compensation was fair based on quotes negotiated by their U.S. representation.)
The budget was even questioned by fans on Twitter when the show arrived on Netflix in December 2020. “The show frankly received a budget that did not allow it to succeed. wrote one in part. Another tweeted, “Netflix really didn’t give the Selena series the budget it deserved.” Again another wrote, “Who decided on the budget for the Selena series on Netflix..how are you going to make her like that.”
Despite the controversy, the series won the approval of the Quintanilla family. His father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., and his sister Suzette Quintanilla both worked there as executive producers. In addition, Suzette later Told Entertainment tonight that some scenes made him cry “because it was literally about”.
No matter what everyone thinks of the show now, what Selena writers hope to move forward with increased portrayal of Latinx in movies and on television, as well as equal treatment. “My goal is to continue to make the point that our stories are worth telling – they deserve as much as any other production,” Zamora told the Time.