Suzette Quintanilla, sister of Selena Quintanilla, is overjoyed by the success of the new series about the late Tejano music icon's life.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and fans, Selena: The Series ranked No. 1 in the U.S. on Netflix on Saturday, Dec. 5, one day after it was released on the streaming platform. Suzette, 53, Selena's older sister and their father Abraham Quintanilla Jr. serve as executive producers on the drama, which stars The Walking Dead's Christian Serratos as the singer, who was fatally shot at age 23 in 1995.
"GUYS!!! OMG!!!" Suzette wrote on Instagram on Saturday, alongside a screenshot of her Netflix home screen showing Selena: The Series' top ranking. "Waking up and seeing this is insane and Beautiful! THANK YOU THANK YOU for this love you have always given to our family. [prayer emoji][purple heart emoji]."
Suzette also got emotional in an Instagram Story video, saying, "Thank you so much on behalf of my family for embracing this amazing story that we were able to tell."
On Wednesday, Suzette posted a photo of a billboard advertising Selena: The Series, writing, "You would think I would remember them telling me in a ton of zoom meetings that billboard's would also be in CC. So driving home and coming across this was a WOW!! cool moment even for me....[sic]"
"This series is not the movie, it's more," she continued. "It's all about our life and the grind to get there when it seemed unattainable. Some will get it and love it and some won't and that's okay. Won't be something new for us, it happened for the movie too when it came out... and look at how it's a classic 20 plus years later being shown worldwide all the time."
Suzette added that she "will never make apologies for what we do with our family."
"I'm grateful for this huge platform we have been given on Netflix," she wrote. "This type of opportunity DOES NOT HAPPEN TO LATINOS often... okay hardly ever if you really wanna know! Not one season... but 2 seasons about a mexican american family from Texas who worked their asses off and NEVER gave up. Who can relate to that ? Each of you reading this! We all have dreams and we all have goals and even though Selena is not here it does not change this story."
She continued, "Mad love to each and all latino cast & crew that worked hard to help tell our story for generations to come. To just inspire one person is winning in my eyes...December 4th on NETFLIX in over 190 COUNTRIES !! read that again.. YESSSS in over 190 COUNTRIES ! Only one person who i wish would be watching with us all .. [purple heart emoji]."
Main star Christian, a longtime Selena fan, told The BingE! Club's Erin Lim last month that the Quintanilla family's involvement in the series gives "incredible insight" into the late singer's life "before she was the star that we know her to be now."
"I see myself in Selena and grew up watching and admiring her," Christian said. "And I'm just really excited for everybody to see the hard work and perseverance that it took her to gain the success that she gained. It wasn't always easy, but she did it with such strength and such grace, and found a place for her where there wasn't always a place and I think that's very relatable for our community and people of color and I'm just really happy to be telling this story again."
Suzette recently spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the new series and responded to criticism over the casting of Christian as Selena.
"I feel like people are so critical about her not looking exactly like Selena, and it reminds me how it was back in the day when Jennifer Lopez got the part [in the 1997 movie Selena]. There was this big ol' upset also within the Latino community that Jennifer looked nothing like Selena, she was Puerto Rican and I can go on and on. We actually had a separate press conference in Spanish just because of that."
She continued, "To me, at the end of the day, it's about the story and not one person on this Earth is going to look exactly like my sister and act like my sister. She was one of a kind and I think there are a lot of impersonators that favor Selena, but they don't act like her or they don't know how to act."
Suzette said Christian is a "great person and a goodhearted person and I know that she worked extremely hard."
"When she and I spoke, I asked her, 'Did you expect this controversy about you? This heavy controversy?' And she said, 'Yes, I did,'" Suzette said. "I think she said her husband even said, 'Are you sure you want to step into this role?' and she said yes. I love that about her. That's a fierce Latina. I loved [that] about her and that's definitely a trait my sister had as well, not afraid to step into a zone that she was not familiar with."