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Selena Gomez Receives Praise and Backlash for Netflix Docuseries “Living Undocumented”

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  • Netflix released a trailer for its new docuseries executive produced by Selena Gomez titled “Living Undocumented,” which follows eight families as they work to gain legal status amid fears of deportation.
  • Some are praising the project for shining a light on immigration issues, while others fear the show will exploit the pain and trauma immigrants in the U.S. experience.
  • Others also criticized Gomez for only now stepping into the immigration conversation; however, Gomez has been vocal about some immigration issues in the past. 

Living Undocumented” Announced

Netflix released a trailer on Tuesday for its new docuseries Living Undocumented, which was met with both praise and criticism largely directed at its star executive producer Selena Gomez.

The docuseries, which is scheduled for an Oct. 2 release, follows eight different families who are struggling to gain legal status amid fears of deportation. 

“I knew I wasn’t born here,” a young girl says in the trailer. “I just didn’t know that not being born here was something that was dangerous. And I always have to do everything scared.” 

“That’s the dream, isn’t it?” a man says in Spanish. “To be able to say: we belong in this society.” 

In a statement about the project Gomez said, “I chose to produce this series, Living Undocumented, because over the past few years, the word immigrant has seemingly become a negative word.”

In a separate Instagram post, she added that the show will star real people facing issues that are more complex than one administration or law.

@SelenaGomez

Mixed Response Online

After watching the trailer and learning of Gomez’s involvement, many people online began praising the series.

“Just watched the previews for #livingundocumented and it brought tears to my eyes,” one Twitter user wrote. “My parents came to the us undocumented and I remembered what it felt like living in that fear. can’t wait to watch @selenagomez”

On the opposite side of the spectrum, others worried the show might exploit undocumented immigrants. Some also criticized Gomez, claiming she hasn’t done enough for the undocumented community.

“People want to claim their communities issues when those issues become monetary gain,” one person said. “Selena Gomez gets to make this one documentary and pretend to do any work for the undocumented community. She gets to make these people relive trauma and walk away with a Netflix check.”

Several concerns stemmed from the fact that Gomez herself was born in Texas, making her a legal citizen.

“The undocumented community has emphasized so much that we don’t like when people try to be the voice of the voiceless,” one person said. “She’s not undocumented and doesn’t fully understand that experience so when people try to speak for us it can come off inaccurately”

Other people who also said they are undocumented, however, supported Gomez and the show for shedding light on the issue by bringing the narrative to undocumented families.

“Why is it a problem when Selena helps?” one person tweeted. “It’s almost like you guys wait for her to breath to tell her she’s doing it wrong. I’m an undocumented [immigrant] and I am very happy she did this. Why aren’t you? She’s literally bringing more attention to it which we need. Be grateful sheeeeessh”

Others noted that she is using her platform to bring attention to undocumented families, who are the ones voicing their own stories in the show.

Gomez’s Previous Support for Immigrants

In June, Gomez criticized housing conditions for children at migrant detention facilities, a story which attracted widespread scrutiny.

“Kids in cages!” the singer said in an Instagram post. “Sleeping on concrete floors with aluminum blankets! No access to simple dignities! How is this still happening??? It’s absolutely inhumane to treat anyone like this let alone children. I can’t even imagine what they are going through. We need to get this to finally stop! Don’t stay silent on this human rights issue.”

Gomez then urged her fans to call their state representatives in D.C. 

In 2018, Gomez wrote a piece for Cristina Jiminez, who was being honored as one of Time’s Most Influential People that year. Jiminez came to the United States as an undocumented immigrant and later co-founding the immigration activist organization United We Dream.

As a nation of immigrants,” Gomez wrote, “the country is filled with those who believe in the American Dream: the ideal that everyone should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work and determination. Cristina Jiménez is the American Dream.”

Other Executive Producers

Gomez will join five other executive producers, including her mother, Mandy Teefey, and the show’s co-directors. 

One of those directors, Aaron Saidman, reiterated that the show is about the immigrants featured in it. 

“Living Undocumented is designed to illuminate one of the most important issues of our time,” he said. “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.”

See what others are saying: (Deadline) (Elle) (Entertainment Weekly)

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Tiger Woods Recovering From Surgery After Serious Car Crash

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  • Golf star Tiger Woods was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles County Tuesday morning after he was involved in a single-car crash.
  • Authorities say Woods hit a median strip while traveling at a “greater than normal speed” on a downhill and curved two-way road. 
  • His SUV traveled several hundred feet, rolled over multiple times, and came to a rest in the brush on the opposite side of the road. 
  • By Tuesday night, a spokesperson said he was awake and recovering after undergoing surgery for broken bones in his lower right leg and ankle.

Tiger Woods Crashes

Golf star Tiger Woods was rushed to a hospital in Los Angeles County Tuesday morning after he was involved in a single-car crash.

Authorities say he was driving at a “greater speed than normal” on a downhill and curved road that is a known trouble spot for accidents.

Woods reportedly hit a median strip on the two-lane road, then traveled several hundred feet, rolled over multiple times, and came to a rest in the brush on the opposite side of the road. 

Representatives for Woods issued a statement on social media last night, saying he was awake and recovering in a hospital after undergoing a long surgery.

The Chief Medical Officer at UCLA Medical Center said in the statement that both bones in Woods’s lower right leg, the tibia and fibula, had been broken in multiple places and were “open fractures,” meaning they pierced his skin.

They said doctors had “stabilized” the breaks by placing a rod into the tibia. Additional bones in Woods’s ankle and foot were also injured and were “stabilized with a combination of screws and pins.”

The statement did not mention any injuries to Woods’s left leg, though the county’s fire chief said earlier in the day that Woods had suffered serious injuries to both legs.

Authorities Say He’s Lucky To Be Alive

After seeing the crash site, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said it was “nothing short of a miracle” that Woods was alive.

Authorities believed Wood’s seat belt, along with safety features in his SUV, likely saved his life. 

Sheriff Villanueva also said there was no evidence of impairment and there was no effort to draw blood for a test at the hospital. 

The crash comes as Woods was recovering from his fifth back operation, which took place last month. It marks a devastating blow to the golfer, who was hoping to recover and compete in another tournament this April. 

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (ESPN) (CNN)

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Zendaya Says Criticism of “Malcolm & Marie” Stripped Her and Co-Star John David Washington of Their Agency

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  • The Netflix film “Malcolm & Marie” faced criticism from viewers who said writer and director Sam Levinson used two Black actors, Zendaya and John David Washington, to voice his own personal opinions on race and identity politics in Hollywood.
  • However, Zendaya told The New York Times the criticism was unfair because both she and Washington helped Levinson craft the script and were producers of the film.
  • “I think a little bit of our agency was stripped away,” she said. “John David, I and Sam equally own this film.”
  • She later told the Los Angeles Times that she feels the conversations she had with Levinson about race came through in the film’s script.

“Malcolm & Marie” Faces Criticism

Zendaya is addressing the backlash and criticism that her film “Malcolm & Marie” has received for its discussions of race in Hollywood. 

The film, written and directed by Sam Levinson, co-stars Zendaya and John David Washington as a couple that spends the night arguing after getting home from the premiere of a film Washington’s character directed.

“Malcolm & Marie” is full of long and winding monologues not just about relationship troubles, but also about the roles race and identity politics play in the interpretation and criticism of film.

Ironically but perhaps intentionally, those monologues are at the center of the criticism the movie has received. Journalists have panned the film, and speeches delivered by Washington’s Malcolm in particular, for their trite and exhausting dialogue that ultimately runs in circles. 

Many have specifically taken issue with the fact that Levinson, a white man and the son of a famed director himself, seemingly inserted his own angers about film criticism into words uttered by two acclaimed Black actors. 

“There are many moments where it feels as if Malcolm, who is a Black Hollywood director, serves as a mouthpiece for Levinson’s own opinions on race and filmmaking,” Micha Frazer-Carroll wrote for The Independent.

In a piece for The Guardian, Robert Daniels wrote that the film uses Black actors to vent white frustration. Daniels suggested that Levinson could have used the character of Malcolm to discuss the way white critics interpret work by Black filmmakers, but instead, “uses Malcolm as a black shield for his real target, not the critics who analyze black works, but the ones who interpret his.”

“As ‘Malcolm & Marie’ unfurls, Levinson shifts Malcolm’s voice from a black one, to the white director’s own,” Daniels continued. 

Zendaya Addresses Backlash

However, Zendaya feels these criticisms are unfair and disregard the fact that both she and Washington produced the film and were heavily involved in every aspect its creation. Levinson and both of the stars have talked numerous times about how collaborative the set was and how Zendaya and Washington were part of the process of crafting the script and their characters.

“I think a little bit of our agency was stripped away,” she told The New York Times on Sunday. “Like this was just kind of Sam spewing things through us without realizing that we are not only actors in this, but we’re co-financiers and producers with P.G.A. marks. You can’t get those unless you actually do the job.”

“John David, I and Sam equally own this film,” she continued. “It’s not like it belongs to someone else and I just got cast in it. He wrote it for us too, and I think if you’re going to write something, you have to acknowledge experiences of the [Black] character you’re writing.”

In a Tuesday piece from the Los Angeles Times, she expanded on how personal producing this project felt to her.

“I’m putting my own money into it,” the actress explained. “I’m producing something, so I’m putting myself out there in a much more vulnerable position than I’ve ever been in.”

She also said that she spoke about Levinson about race and Hollywood and felt that her ideas did come through in the script.

“There’s conversations that I’ve had with Sam that reflect a little bit in things that Malcolm says about his creativity and being boxed in, specifically being a Black creative that feels like there’s a certain lens their work is looked through — those kinds of things,” she said.

Levinson has similarly dismissed criticisms made about him being white and making a film with Black protagonists. 

“I have faith in the collaborative process and in my partners that if I write something that doesn’t feel true, that JD or Z don’t respond to or feel to be honest, that they are going to say something and we’ll work it out,” he told Esquire. “I didn’t have anxiety in that sense because I have too much respect for the collaborative nature of filmmaking.”

See what others are saying: (Los Angeles Times) (New York Times) (IndieWire)

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DaBaby Responds To Claims That He Dissed JoJo Siwa

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  • Rapper DaBaby clarified Sunday that the lyric, “You a b*tch, JoJo Siwa,” in his song “Beatbox Freestyle” was not meant to diss the 17-year-old children’s entertainer.
  • After facing intense criticism, DaBaby tweeted at Siwa claiming his toddler is a big fan of hers, adding, “Don’t let em trick you into thinking id ever have a problem with you. My wordplay just went over their heads.”
  • Several outlets suggested that “JoJo” was a reference to himself since DaBaby’s real name is Jonathan.
  • Based on other tweets from the rapper, “Siwa” was intended to sound like “see why,” making the use of her name mean “Jonathan see why.”

DaBaby References JoJo Siwa in Lyric

DaBaby said he has no beef with JoJo Siwa after he was accused of dissing the 17-year-old children’s entertainer in a new song. 

DaBaby released the video for “Beatbox Freestyle” on Friday. Following its release, he was criticized for rapping the lyric “You a b*tch, JoJo Siwa (B*tch.)”

The lyric outraged many people who felt it was insulting and uncalled for. Popular YouTube creators including James Charles, Nikita Dragun, and Tana Mongeau all called him out for mentioning Siwa in the song.

“Can someone please explain why da baby is dissing jojo siwa when she’s 12 years younger, 10 times richer, and 2 inches taller than him,” Charles wrote on Twitter. 

DaBaby Says He Has No Issues with JoJo Siwa

In a series of tweets on Sunday, DaBaby cleared the air and said the lyric was not meant to attack Siwa herself. He tagged Siwa in one post and said his 3-year-old daughter is actually a big fan of the teen star. 

“Don’t let em trick you into thinking id ever have a problem with you,” DaBaby continued. “My word play just went over their heads. All love on my end shawty, Keep shinning!”

Entertainment Tonight explained that “JoJo” is short for DaBaby’s real name, Jonathan. He used “Siwa” as a shorthand for “see why,” so the lyric is effectively saying “Jonathan see why.” In several tweets, he referenced that wordplay and joked about how so many people misunderstood it.

“I don’t ‘Siwa’ they so mad either bae,” he wrote in one tweet. 

DaBaby also addressed the situation on Instagram, where he expressed frustration with outlets trying to suggest he might really be feuding with Siwa. 

“Y’all MFs sick lol,” he wrote in his story on Sunday. “Y’all okay w/ that child being tricked into thinking i got a problem with her. WE FUCK WIT YOU JOJO.”

Siwa has not yet responded to the lyric or DaBaby’s explanation of it.

See what others are saying: (Entertainment Tonight) (Billboard) (People)

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