Suzette Quintanilla Tried Distancing Herself From A Man Who Revitalized A Selena Mural But He Had The Receipts
If you’re paying attention to all things Quintanilla, you know that the family is fiercely protective over the late Selena’s image and trademark. That fight has recently erupted over Eric Lee Tunchez’s promotion and revamping of the Molina Selena mural. Tunchez is the founder of non-profit Stop Bullying Inc. and planned to pass out backpacks and school supplies at the event. The Quintanilla’s legal team sent a cease and desist letter to Stop Bullying Inc. accusing the organization of ‘unauthorized and unlawful marketing and promotion’ of the Selena themed Fiesta de Selena Mural.
The whole ordeal has boiled down to a he-said, she-said, but Tunchez has recently responded with screenshots of the email from Suzette, and now the Internet is outraged.
On July 31, 2018, Tunchez posted to Facebook that he got “blessings” from “Selena Quintanilla’s father, Abraham, to re-do the neighborhood mural on Elvira and Bloomington.”
It seems as if Tunchez has been earnest in his year-long effort to unveil this mural for his community. In a Facebook post, Tunchez wrote, “I would like to share with everyone that I have been working hard to revitalize my old neighborhood Molina. Today, I got the blessings from the store owner of the Times Market and Selena Quintanilla’s father, Abraham, to re-do the neighborhood mural on Elvira and Bloomington.”
The day before the event, August 2nd, Tunchez was promoting the event as expected.
“With the Quintanilla family collaboration and my passion to carry on the Selena mural tradition in the Molina neighborhood, the revitalized memorial will influence Latinos for generations to come,” Tunchez posted. He consistently has thanked and credited the Quintanilla family for the cooperation.
Then, the day of the event, Tunchez told folks that he “received a love letter (cease and desist letter) by the estate of the Selena Quintanilla.”
“I understand, respect, and agree that people should not profit from Selena. It is very important to keep Selena clean,” Tunchez posted. “I’ve been inspired and she is a local icon and I in no way want to disrespect the family of Selena. My intent for today’s event is benign and is for the community of the Molina neighborhood.”
Then, he blamed “the corporate powers” that “want to stop today’s event, which I planned to hand out backpacks to disadvantaged families.”
“Today, I received a love letter (cease and desist letter) by the estate of the Selena Quintanilla,” he continued. “We may need to go through a legal battle to compromise something for the community in which where this mural stands.”
Abraham Quintanilla told the Caller-Times that Tunchez did reach out about a year and a half ago about updating the mural, but “never collected money for the project.” The Quintanilla family then hired New York artist San Sigüenza to do the work. Tunchez “didn’t pay one penny … and is taking credit for everything,” Abraham said.
Then, Suzette went on public television to denounce any contact she may have had with Tunchez.
Tunchez tried to clear his name on Facebook with a rebuttal post. “Suzette Quintanilla went to public television and said she had no association with me in regard to the mural. She reached out to me about my project. I didn’t ask them for anything.”
Tunchez went on to say that “they want the credit for my efforts and work to revitalize the Molina. I think that is pure greed. I still hope we can compromise to keep this event at the Selena mural every year to promote education and give out school supplies. My energy and motivation will propel me to continue to create something that will last forever because my neighborhood would not like to take down this mural that inspires many generations of Tejanos.”
Buckle up, because Suzette released all hell and fury at Tunchez on her own Facebook platform.
This is getting heated. “Now lets talk facts,” Suzette’s post continues. “FACT: This Mural was for the Molina Neighborhood, NOT to help promote anything you do sir. Never has been about you making money, its about you trying to use this mural for self glorification and wanting to use the Selena Trademark name and likeness to promote yourself. Our local newspaper failed to add the rest of the wording for the cease and Desist letter… AND /OR PROMOTE AND EVENT. thats a really important part. last thing I wanna share with everyone is my family and I have protect what is ours from day one and will continue to do so. This legacy Selena has left behind for all future generations is due to all of my family, we were a team. We created music from day one together since Sel was 9, I was 13 and AB 17. So we have all rights to do what we want what is ours.”
Tunchez then posted some receipts backing up his claim.
Within hours of her Facebook post, Tunchez kept it simple. “Hey Suzette Quintanilla,” he writes. “The fact is your father gave me the blessing to find an artist to re-do a mural that was neglected. The fact is I wanted to make things better for my neighborhood Molina. The fact is Sandra Gonzalez was going to do the mural with West Oso art students. Fact is you denied that opportunity for our community and went with your artist San Siguenza from New York. The fact is we can take down the current mural in Molina and give our community the opportunity to do so still. I will leave that up to my community.”
He then included attachments of the email where he claims she “reached out… so please do not call me a liar. I’ve been really nice to you and you have been real mean to me. I don’t need your money. Let me know.”
People have opinions about all of this.
Jesse Lino Villareal commented, “At the end of the day this was sopose to be a community thing and it has blown up to an Quintanilla thing…..this is about the Westside Molina not them folks….Selena was apart of this neighborhood he just wanted to honor her by helping revitalizing the mural……at the end of the day this is about the community not them other folks”
When someone replied with some legal facts like they can sue because they “own Selena rights,” someone else responds in all caps, “NO ONE OWNS A FOLK HERO LIKE SELENA. NO ONE.”