When actor Edward James Olmos made his directorial debut in 1992 with the prison drama American Me, he wanted to tell a story that impacted Chicano culture and showed some of the violence and corruption happening in the California penal system from the 1950s to the 1980s.
While Olmos was able to accomplish that, American Me also had some unintended and serious consequences. This included the murders of some of the film’s consultants allegedly by the Mexican Mafia who were not happy with the way they were depicted on screen. There was also a plot to extort money from Olmos himself.
The stories surrounding American Me are as important as the film itself. And that’s where the new podcast series, More Than a Movie: American Me, comes in to explore what happened. Produced by Candle Media’s Exile Content Studio, Trojan Horse Media, and iHeartMedia’s My Cultura, the 12-episode podcast will pull the curtain back on the film and examine the legacy and controversy it left behind.
“This podcast gives a behind-the-scenes look at a film that paved the way for Latino cinema, while also diving into the controversial topics of prison and gang life,” Gisselle Bances, SVP, Head of Production and Development for iHeartMedia’s My Cultura, said in a statement. “It’s important to highlight our stories, our movies and give Latino creators a platform to speak on it.”
More Than a Movie: American Me will be hosted by Emmy-nominated producer and writer Alex Fumero (Menudo: Forever Young) and produced by Los Angeles-based journalist Nigel Duara.
“When I first heard the rumors about American Me, it all sounded so wild,” Fumero said in a statement. “I had to try to separate fact from fiction. But beyond that, Edward James Olmos is an artist and activist I deeply respect, so I wanted to understand how this could’ve happened, if it did. I really believe that even those who have never seen the cult classic American Me film, or aren’t familiar with Olmos, will find this podcast both fascinating and addicting.”
The podcast will launch its first two episodes on September 15, 2022. New episodes will post every Thursday and can be accessed on the iHeartRadio app and everywhere that podcasts are heard.