Selena’s Family Threatens to Sue a Trump Supporter for Hosting an Event at Her Memorial Site


Graphic via Desirée Tapia for The Americano

By Araceli Cruz

July 10, 2020

Selena Quintanilla died 25 years ago, but some fans are using her image to make a political statement. 

Joe Michael Pérez got a lot of attention last month when he put a MAGA hat on a statue of Selena Quintanilla. The Selena memorial, located on North Shoreline Blvd, in Corpus Christi, Texas, is a site where fans from all over the world come to pay their respect to the legendary Tejano singer. However, her family and fans were not pleased when Pérez’s image of the Selena statue donning the MAGA hat went viral. Now Pérez is doing a lot more than putting that infamous red hat on the figure — he’s hosting a Trump event there. 

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Pérez is inviting Donald Trump supporters on July 11 to gather at the Selena memorial by hosting a public event. Perez states that he is hosting the event — called “Trump supporters gathering at Selena Statue” —  due to the “media painting their own narrative about the Trump hat that was placed on the Selena Statue.” He states, “Now it’s our turn to come out and paint our own narrative. Which is that the media has it wrong. Calling out all Trump Supporters to come out and support the cause.” While the event’s mission is confusing, more than 500 people have RSVP’d, and now Selena’s family is fighting back. 

According to the Caller-Times, Abraham Quintanilla, Selena’s dad, sent a cease and desist letter to Pérez, stating that his event infringed on Selena’s image and her name. 

“Without obtaining Quintanilla’s permission, you have unilaterally associated Selena’s brand and identity with Donald J. Trump, whose public statements, ideology, and political re-election campaign are neither endorsed by nor affiliated with Quintanilla in any manner,” the letter states, according to the publication. “Selena is an inspirational and uplifting figure to millions of people around the world, of all races, creeds, religions, and national origin, including young children and families. Associating Selena with any single politician, and particularly with the divisiveness and discord commonly attributed to Donald J. Trump, is entirely inconsistent with, and damaging to, Selena’s image and brand and is thereby damaging to Quintanilla.”

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However, Pérez doesn’t seem too worried about this legal threat from the Quintanilla family. He posted on Facebook on Wednesday, “We will not cancel. I look forward to seeing everyone on July 11.”

Pérez also told the publication that the “Selena statue is a symbol of the Hispanic community,” and that he wants to show the public that “minorities who support Trump are not alone. I wanted to influence and encourage those that it’s okay to show support for our president.”

Though by the looks of his Facebook page —which only has 363 friends — Pérez’s support of Trump is the lone voice. Fans of Selena are enraged with Pérez for his continuous use of Selena’s image. They’ve littered his Facebook account with comments condemning his actions to use her name to promote President Donald Trump. 

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“How disrespectful can you be, her family had asked you to cease and desist,” one Facebook commentator wrote. “How disgraceful of you to not honor the dead and instead use her for your self-hating narrative.”

“You have some nerve staining Selena’s sweet legacy by associating her with the scumbag Donald Trump!!!” another wrote. “I am not a fan of Selena’s Father but I pray that he sues the hell out of you for doing this!! Selena would never support Donald Trump!!!”




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