Oprah Discusses American Dirt Controversy with Author Jeanine Cummins
- After weeks of controversy surrounding her Oprah's Book Club pick American Dirt, Oprah sat down with author Jeanine Cummins for a revealing interview.
- The pair was joined by authors Reyna Grande, Julissa Arce, and Esther Cepeda, as well as members of the Latinx community.
- The two-part interview special premiered on Friday, March 6 on Apple TV+.
Earlier this month, Oprah Winfrey sat down with author Jeanine Cummins for a candid talk about her Oprah's Book Club Pick, American Dirt, which will air as a two-part Apple TV+ special on March 6. The novel follows a mother and her 8-year-old son as they attempt to make it to the U.S. border while fleeing cartel violence. Since its release in January, American Dirt has spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller chart—but has also stirred up passionate discussions about authorship and diversity in the publishing industry.
“If you read the book, there is no doubt you heard about the controversy around it,” Oprah says in the episode. That discussion began on Twitter in January, sparked by an incisive review by Mexican American author Myriam Gurba, as well as a Twitter thread by David Bowles, both of whom called out Cummins—who is not of Mexican descent—for what they considered problematic language and stereotypes in her book. (Together, the duo formed the #DignidadLiteraria social media movement, a campaign for greater Latinx inclusion in the publishing industry.)
As this exclusive clip shows, Oprah did not shy away from addressing that controversy during the two-part interview special.
“I heard and understand the concerns and wanted to bring together many voices to lean into this conversation, because for 25 years on The Oprah Show, I learned that is the only way I think we can actually gain a better understanding of one another,” Oprah explained of her approach to the American Dirt special.
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