Latino writers of the Netflix series "Selena: The Series", a retelling on the life of Tejano pop superstar Selena Quintanilla are speaking out against the unfair treatment that Netflix has done to them and to Selena in the show.
The show is a narrative of the life story of a cherished Latina singer in one of the biggest streaming platforms in the world.
'Selena: The Series' Writers Underpaid Due to the Tight Budget of Netflix Series
In an exclusive interview with Los Angeles Times, Gladys Rodriguez, 37, who is credited as a co-executive producer of the Netflix show aired her sentiments regarding her and her colleagues' job experience with the platform.
She explained how writers were underpaid despite the hectic schedules and overwhelming demand in the job. Rodriguez said, "I should have seen these red flags in the beginning."
Rodriguex added that she felt like she had "a little bit of PTSD" from the show."
She explains how she felt discriminated against and disrespected, along with her colleagues. "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.", Rodriguez said.
California News Times reports that the Writers Guild of America sets a minimum budget for every show's writers. However, because of the categorization of the series, a different WGA rate was applied to the Latino writers. This is after multiple attempts of negotiation to fit into the tight budget. For Rodriquez and her colleagues, not only was the disrespect directed to them, but also to Selena.
The writers said that it was only for their "Love for Selena" that they finished the show, despite all the disrespect and discrimination that they had experienced while producing the Netflix series.
"Selena: The Series" Wrongly Categorized as Latin American Original, Says Co-Executive Producer
According to LA Times, the show is intrinsically American in nature since Selena is a young Mexican American singer from South texas who has lived her American dream towards success until her death in 1995. However, Netflix took the show under a Latin American original, putting it under the category of a much lower budget. Reportedly, it has cost under $2 million per episode, as opposed to "The Crown", which is a retelling of the British monarchy which costs over $13 million per episode.
As told by the series; co-executive producer, Henry Robles, the show sort of experienced the same dilemma that Selena experienced in the past. People didn't know how to categorize the Mexican-American singer.
"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.", says Robles.
According to a Netflix spokesperson, the writers are fairly paid. They haven't commented yet on any recent accusations aired against them. We are still yet to hear from the side of the streaming platform.
This article is owned by Music Times
Written by Nikki Schmidt