On Thursday, two cast members of the Netflix series were killed and six other crew members were injured in a van crash near Mulege, a town in Baja California Sur.
Now the victims’ friends Raimundo Garduño Cruz and Juan Francisco González Aguilar, known as “Paco Mufote”, are lashing out at Netflix and the independent production company behind the series. Selectedclaiming that the actors complained about poor transportation and logistics.
Liliana Conlisk Gallegos, Mufote’s friend who worked in the film industry, is an artist and a scientist, told The Daily Beast she was heartbroken and outraged to hear accusations that the film crew could have been used to save money.
“Paco touched the hearts of everyone he ever met, he was a great actor with a strong trajectory,” Gallegos told The Daily Beast. “He loved playing and playing music more than anything, and he devoted himself to it, enduring economic hardship many times. He sacrificed his love for acting.”
“It fills me with rage that there are reports of abuse and exploitation being shared by people involved in the production,” she added. “I would like to demand that this be further investigated. If nothing bad happens, then there should be no problem with the provision of information.”
“It hurts me to think that he was taken advantage of, that he was forced to work in substandard conditions, especially in a multi-million dollar company like Netflix.”
Netflix did not respond to messages asking for comment.
This is the site of the streaming service. Selected is based on the comic book series by Mark Millar and Peter Gross and focuses on a 12-year-old boy who “learns he is the returned Jesus Christ who is destined to save mankind”.
Associated Press and local mass media reported that the film crew’s white van overturned around noon on Thursday after it veered off the peninsula highway into the desert. call for casting Behind the scenes magazine lists the series as American Jesus and the production company Redrum. In April, What’s On Netflix reported that filming had begun on the series.
On Friday, writer Rick Zazueta shared some scathing criticism. facebook post demanding an investigation and blaming the Mexican film industry.
“People come to Baja California to exploit natural and human resources and do nothing but inflate their wallets, egos and portfolios,” Zazueta said.
In his post, Zazueta stated, “For weeks, people close to this production knew that the logistics were terrible. The actors never stopped complaining about how badly they were treated specifically in the field of transport and logistics. Locations in Santa Rosalia, Loreto and San Ignacio, flights from La Paz and Tijuana, old panels with flat tires, tired and overworked drivers.”
He also claimed that the talent was “transported like cattle to save a few pesos”.
“Shame on the Mexican film industry, Everardo Goat and Stacey Persky must face this and not hide behind casting director Luis Rosales, who was coldly asked to break the news of the passing of the families of these great actors,” Zazueta wrote. “We cannot make the mistake of allowing this to happen, we cannot allow these gentlemen to die in vain. The film industry must change, we have paid a very high price again in this country, but we must protect the rights of the dead.”
Things looked promising for the series last year. Comic man Millar told Term“Development for American Jesus is advancing beautifully in the talented and capable hands of Everardo Gauta (Marvel’s Luke Cage, holy lie) and Leopoldo Gout (Molly game, Instinct). I’m blown away by the creative choices Netflix has given us, especially since this show will have Spanish and English dialogue.”
For her part, Gallegos said she worked in film production in the US and that independent film companies are “saving all the time.”
“I worked in manufacturing in the US when independent companies spared a penny all the way,” she added. “They operate independently and then sell the work to larger manufacturing houses. Thus, they can turn a blind eye to labor abuses.”
“I really want to emphasize that this is a real issue that is global and parallel to the outsourcing issue,” she told The Daily Beast. “We see parallel forms of abuse and exploitation. At the moment, we don’t know much. All we need is answers.”
“I don’t blame Netflix for anything. I just demand further investigation.”
Meanwhile, actor and director Fernando Bonilla got on twitter mourn his friend Cruz, whom he spoke to a few hours before his death.
“It is critical that the production report how many hours of rest a driver who lost control of a truck had,” Bonilla wrote.
“I am devastated,” Bonilla continued in the thread. “Ray was an actor, director and cultural manager who chose Tijuana as his home. He was a festive and generous friend.”
“In a lot of movies and TV programs, drivers are over-exploited, which leads to these damn tragedies. I just found out and I can’t believe it. I have a broken heart.”