Justin Bieber Shared SEASONS to Help People Struggling With Health Issues
By Cooper Dowd, Contributing Writer
The release of the recent documentary TV series SEASONS is an honest look into the struggles and joys of Justin Bieber’s career and life in the limelight. The directors, producers, and Justin and Hailey Bieber all sat down with virtual Paleyfest LA to discuss the Youtube Original series’ filming process and the shows’ desired effect.
The production team, whom the Biebers consider family, said that the unique vulnerability the couple brings to Justin’s battle with Lyme disease, mental health, and drug abuse is an important message that can help those struggling in similar ways.
Bieber said that the tightly knit group of producers and directors working on the project showcased what the entire documentary was about–building trustworthy relationships.
YouTube’s Head of Unscripted Original Programming Alex Piper, Producer Ryan Good, Co-EP Joe Termini, Composer Josh Gudwin, Record Producer Poo Bear, Executive Producers Allison Kaye and Scooter Braun, EP/Director Micheal D. Ratner, and the Biebers sat on the panel.
“What SEASONS really shows is that life is about relationships and all of us have our own unique relationships with each other. I have my own unique relationship with Josh, Poo Bear, Scooter, [Ratner]. When [Ratner] came along he and I created a new relationship. All SEASONS is showing is that life is… about fighting for who you love and what you love,” Justin Bieber told Paleyfest.
Although several documentaries’ branding takes a similar ‘tell-all’ approach, Ratner said that SEASONS is special because there was no preconceived agenda to sell an album or a persona.
“[The series] was all-access. There was no list of Justin saying, hey, I’m inviting you into this family but you gotta touch on this, this, this,” Ratner continued. “There was none of that. I say that with pride because I think there’s a big resurgence of these documentaries and tell-all’s that go alongside with albums right now but they’re really—in many cases—these glorified commercials for the artist.”
The show illustrates how Justin fought to stay alive through physical and mental health issues and speaks to Justin and Hailey’s bravery despite the strains on their marriage.
“He really believed it could help people,” Termini said. “He really believed that people put him in a place where he’s untouchable and I think it’s really important in this part of his life to say ‘You know what? I’m not perfect, I don’t have everything together. I’m struggling with mental illness.’
“I almost get choked up thinking about it,” Termini added. “Personally, we knew what he was dealing with and sometimes the media can paint another picture but he was really fighting to survive. He was fighting to stay married. He was fighting to build a relationship with his friends and the people that he loves.”
The Biebers are outspoken about how Jesus and the Gospel are the central reasons for their survival during the hopeless periods in their lives.
MOVIEGUIDE® previously reported on Bieber’s faith and their encouragement for his fans to turn to Jesus:
“Jesus is the answer to our shame, guilt, condemnation, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness the list goes on,” said Bieber. “Jesus came to bring healing! I don’t know what idea of Jesus you have, but Jesus came to save us. He came to sacrifice himself on the cross so that you and I could have a way out.”
Bieber even offered an invitation for his social media followers to assess their own struggles and choose Jesus.
“Do you trust God enough to let go of some things? (greed, bitterness, unforgiveness etc) give it to God he welcomes us with open arms and he isn’t surprised by our mess. My hope is in a person and his name is Jesus.”
Alex Piper, YouTube’s Head of Unscripted Original Programming, said that trust was essential for its successful production.
“I think this is a great next step in a story that he’s been telling very faithfully for years through his previous documentaries and now into this series,” said Piper. “I think the courage that it took for him and Hailey to let us in that door to be vulnerable at a time when it would’ve been easier for those conversations to happen behind closed doors. There’s something incredibly powerful about that…
“It’s rare you find the authenticity you feel in this special and I think part of it is because of everyone who spoke today,” Piper said. “Justin and Hailey were surrounded with people who they can trust. Trust is everything.”
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Jesus is the answer to our shame, guilt, condemnation, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, selfishness the list goes on.. Jesus came to bring healing! I don’t know what idea of Jesus you have but Jesus came to save us. He came to sacrifice himself on the cross so that you and I could have a way out. Jesus took the punishment of our wrongs so that we can walk with God with no insecurities or shame. So we can walk in the FULLNESS OF ALL THAT GOD HAS FOR US!! God has a full extraordinary life for you. Do you trust God enough to let go of some things? (greed, bitterness, unforgiveness etc) give it to God he welcomes us with open arms and he isn’t surprised by our mess. My hope is in a person and his name is Jesus