We cannot contain our excitement at the news that Selena Quintanilla will FINALLY get her own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Eek!
The queen of música Tejana will be honored in 2017 along with 34 other celebs.
“The Committee looked carefully at each nominee and we feel that we have selected a great group of talent that will appeal to the tastes of many fans around the world,” announced Vin Di Bona on Tuesday afternoon. We wonder if Andrew Longoria’s petition has anything to do with this news, but regardless we know millions of Selena fans are ecstatic and are dusting off their purple jumpsuits.
Eva Longoria and conductor Gustavo Dudamel are among other Latinos who will join Selena in Hollywood’s Walk of Fame Class of 2017.
It’s easy to tell this story in one sentence: August 6 saw legendary Latino director Guillermo del Toro awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But, there’s so much more to this story than meets the eye. We did a deep dive to flesh out the man, the myth, and the legend that is Guillermo del Toro, and what got him to that point a few days ago, where he gave an iconic acceptance speech to a crowd of supporters.
To start with: just who is this guy? October 9, 1964 saw Guillermo del Toro Gómez born in Guadalajara, Jelisco, Mexico. He clearly knew what he wanted to do with his life from a young age – when del Toro was eight years old he began tinkering with his father’s Super 8 camera, making short films featuring the murders of his mother and brothers, among other things. The years passed, and he eventually studied special effects and makeup under the tutelage of special-effects artist, Dick Smith.
Most likely these experiences influenced Guillermo del Toro’s interest in depicting horror and fantasy scenes in his work. And what is his work, you ask? Well, if you’ve been living under a rock you probably haven’t heard of films the likes of The Shape of Water, Pacific Rim, Pan’s Labrynth, Hellboy, or the Blade franchise. Okay but seriously, you should have heard of at least one of these movies, people.
Okay, it’s a bit of an exaggeration to use the term “myth”, but suffice to say that del Toro is one hell of a storyteller and just generally a massive contributor to the industry – after all, that’s what got him the star on Hollywood Boulevard. To put it in perspective, each year there are approximately 200 nominations submitted to the Hollywood Walk of Fame selection committee. In order to even be considered, nominees must have a minimum of five years experience in their industry, in addition to having a history of “charitable contributions.” In the end, only 20 to 24 people are actually awarded a star. If there’s anything that says Guillermo del Toro’s officially arrived, it’s his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Many took to social media to highlight just how much del Toro truly deserved this recognition.
So what did Mr. del Toro do when giving his acceptance speech last Tuesday? He began with a simple “gracias”, and then commended another “great Mexican filmmaker, Issa López” for her talents. From the outset of his speech, del Toro foregrounded his Hispanic background, and showed support for his contemporaries. “I am Mexican … and I am an immigrant,” he said shortly afterwards. “Right now, we are in a moment of great fear … and great division. That’s why fear is used. It’s used to divide us. It’s used to tell us that we’re all different and we shouldn’t trust each other. And these lies make us easier to control, and make it easier to hate each other. But the antidote to that is to come together.”
“As a Mexican, receiving this star is a gesture and no gesture right now can be banal or simple.” del Toro continued. “This is very important this is happening right now because I can tell to all of you, all immigrants from every nation, that you should believe in the possibilities and not the obstacles. Do not believe the lies they tell about us. Believe in the stories you have inside and believe that we all can make a difference and we all have stories to tell and we all can contribute to the art and the craft and the world in any way we see fit.”
Most were so happy to see him represent his Mexicanidad as he accepted his star on the Walk of Fame.
And there you have it. What’s made Guillermo del Toro so legendary is not just his work, but his awareness around the power and influence of the media we consume – especially in an era where white supremacism has snaked its way into the community, and into politics. He knew that his award was not just for himself, but for the immigrant, Hispanic community. After all, representation matters! It shows people of color that they too are deserving of success and having their stories told. And it also reminds the wider community about the great contributions people of color and immigrants still do make in today’s America.
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.”