Opinion: Stop making celebrity documentaries

By Farah Bassyouni Sep 30, 2022

Selena Gomez plans to release an Apple TV+ documentary on November 4. Gomez publicly went through health issues and a notable relationship with Justin Bieber. The documentary will review her last six years of finding light after a long period of darkness.

The release brought up a question, when is the right time for celebrities to release a documentary about themselves. Gomez’s film “Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me” has stirred up a lot of buzz already and the pop culture community is anxiously awaiting the release. But that is not always the case.

Another ex-Disney star, Demi Lovato, released a docu-series last year and did not receive all this love from the public. “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil,” which was released in 2021, was her third attempt at a documentary. Her first documentary was released in 2012 when Lovato was only 20 years old. Press for her 2021 docu series, exposed that she regretted all of the documentaries. 

Do all celebrities need to make a documentary, even when they do not have many interesting life experiences to share? The biggest issue with Lovato’s journey of documentaries has been the way they contradict each other. The point of a celebrity documentary is to show the highlights of your life, who you are and everything you’ve done. The other option would be to focus on a specific life event. 

Jennifer Lopez released a 2022 documentary called “Halftime” where she walks through the process of getting ready for the superbowl halftime show. The documentary shows the highs and lows of the entire process. 

Celebrities are watched daily, do they need to create a full production film when there is really nothing to add? Another flop documentary was “Shawn Mendes: In Wonder.” Mendes was only 22 when the documentary was released. The documentary was full of nothing. It was unnecessary and Mendes had yet to really accomplish anything that was interesting to the public. 

Celebrities should have to wait until they are 30 to release a documentary. Katy Perry had a successful documentary come out in 2012 called “Katy Perry: Part of Me,” when she was 28. Perry’s film is the best of the celebrity documentaries I’ve seen. It’s based on her struggles with gaining fame at such a young age. I think Gomez’s documentary will follow suit and achieve the same success as Katy Perry’s.

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