Who owns the legacy of Selena Quintanilla? It’s a question posed by writer Rosa Sanchez in a recent article published by Rolling Stone magazine. The article documents many instances where Selena impersonators have received “threatening emails and calls” from Q Productions, which is owned by Selena’s father Abraham Quintanilla.
“For the past 25 years, [Selena’s] fans have been questioning her family’s aggressive attempts at controlling her legacy,” Sanchez writes. “Now that Selena: The Series…has been streaming, it’s become even more apparent to viewers that they are only getting one side of the story.”
Sanchez interviews a handful of Selena impersonators who have received letters from Q Productions demanding that they stop using Selena’s name and image and threatening to sue them if they didn’t.
“This has made fans…believe that more than honoring his late daughter’s legacy, Abraham is focused on continuing to make [a] profit off of her name and likeness,” Sanchez writes. “This theory has only been strengthened by the fact that he is still tied up in legal issues with Chris Pérez, his former son-in-law, whom he snubbed in 1995 after Selena died without leaving a will.”
In one case, a Houston-based Selena impersonator named Monica Treviño was sent a letter asking her to stop using Selena’s name in her act.
“When we got it, it left me really sad, because she’s my idol,” Treviño says. “It was taken care of, we spoke with them through my agent, but it just made me really sad.”
Another Selena impersonator, Genessa Escobar, who is based in New York City, also received a letter from Q Productions. She considers Quintanilla’s threats empty “scare tactics.”
“He’s a very proud man,” she says. “I think he wants to profit from the tributes.”