Read On! Oprah Winfrey Thickens Controverys in "Oprah's Book Club"
"Well, I am guilty of not looking for Latinx writers," as Oprah Winfrey has stated in one of her panels. Big YIKES. Oprah Winfrey has admitted that she does not look for Latinx writers for her influential book club, even after her choice of Jeanine Cummins' controversial novel American Dirt was heavily criticized.
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The Controversy Thickens
The two-part show will be available for broadcast on Apple TV Plus on Thursday. The episode sees Winfrey defending her choice to choose the novel because as she stated that she personally feels connected to the stories of the immigrants', the source is from Associated Press.
Winfrey was quick to acknowledge the backlash of American Dirt, which is a story following a woman and her son that is trying to flee Mexico for the chance for a life in the United States. Critics voiced their outcry for the stereotypical portrayals of Mexicans and the life of Mexico in general. Go figure.
Winfrey is not the only one to be blamed here but also the publishing industry fo heavily promoting the novel. Cummins has received a seven-figure deal which comes with a sizeable marketing campaign given by Macmillan-owned Flatiron Books. Critics also cited that Latinx writers rarely receive offers like that or not at all.
Cummin's book tour, however, took a turn for the worse since it was canceled due to safety concerns which are obviously the spread of the coronavirus but you know it might be something else.
Writers Backlash Towards Winfrey
A letter from almost 150 writers who had asked the veteran talk show host and self-made billionaire to reconsider her choice of American Dirt shook her to the core but still went ahead anyway. Saying that "having to cancel, to dismiss or to silence anyone".
Writers believed that "widely and strongly believed to be exploitative, oversimplified, and ill-informed, too often erring on the side of trauma fetishization and sensationalization of migration and of Mexican life and culture"
Winfrey has run-into several controversies from the past over her choice of books already and doesn't seem to resonate with positive feedback but more of the other kind. Her choice to pick James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, let her admit first that in the future she would "pause" to think about who the author of a book was even before choosing them for her show.
"Am I going to have to spend the next two months defending the writer ... or can we actually talk about the story?" Winfrey said.
What Happened During The Show?
Winfrey read Cummins's social media critic of her novel and had asked the author if she regretted writing in her author's note saying "wished someone browner than me would write it". Cummins in her answer said it was "regrettable" and "very clumsy" of her to say that.
Will Oprah Winfrey finally be free of controversies? It seems it might take a while for everything to blow over but hopefully, she will make better decisions in terms of pleasing the audience and not just thinking of what she thinks is right but also listen to others.
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