For 17 years, Selena Gomez has been displaying her prowess in acting and music. She’s also shown love for humanity through organizations such as UNICEF and DoSomething.org. Now, the Texan will be showcasing undocumented immigrants on Netflix’s upcoming docuseries Living Undocumented.
Showing How They’re Really Living
For Gomez, the recent news involving undocumented immigrants pushed her to work on the show. “I chose to produce this series Living Undocumented because over the past few years, the word immigrant has seemingly become a negative word,” Gomez said in a press release. “My hope is that the series can shed light on what it’s like to live in this country as an undocumented immigrant firsthand, from the courageous people who have chosen to share their stories.”
Living Undocumented will be co-directed by Aaron Saidman and Anna Chai. Saidman earned an Emmy for his work on the documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Other documentaries Saidman worked on include The Seven Five and Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies. Chai also won an Emmy for The Mind of a Chef, which was produced by Anthony Bourdain. Chai continued working with Bourdain on The Layover. In 2017, she released the documentary Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.
The Netflix series will follow eight families of immigrants as they try to achieve the American dream. With chances of deportation, that dream can become a nightmare. “Living Undocumented is designed to illuminate one of the most important issues of our time. But rather than discussing this issue with only statistics and policy debates, we wanted viewers to hear directly from the immigrants themselves, in their own words, with all the power and emotion that these stories reflect,” Saidman said in a press release.
Trying To Make A Change
In recent years, Gomez has spoken out about the country’s immigration policy. Upon news of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ possible cancellation, she spoke her mind on Instagram. “My definition of ‘dreamer’ is someone that thinks big and believes anything is possible. The wonderful people being threatened by the unfortunate reversal of DACA are exactly that. Please call The White House, you local member of Congress and state Senators to let your voice be heard to defend DACA!,” she said.
Gomez’s Second Netflix Collaboration
Living Undocumented is the second show Gomez has executive produced for Netflix. She’s an executive producer on 13 Reasons Why, which is based on the novel of the same name. Gomez was attached to the project when it was originally conceived as a film back in 2011. The series gained controversy for its portrayal of bullying in high school.
“This is happening every day. Whether or not you wanted to see it, that’s what’s happening. The content is complicated. It’s dark and it has moments that are honestly very hard to swallow, and I understood that we were doing something that is difficult,” Gomez told Time. “But these kids today are so exposed to things that I would never even comprehend when I was 8. My cousin teaches third grade and they’re doing things and saying things that I couldn’t even fathom. I feel like if this is what we’re going to talk about, we might as well as do it in a way that’s honest, is real, and stays true to the book.” A fourth and final season of 13 Reasons Why was announced before season three premiered.
With Living Undocumented, Gomez hopes people walk away with a better understanding of what’s going on. If anyone on the opposing side of immigration has a change of heart, that’s even better. The documentary series will hit Netflix on Wednesday, October 2.
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