Salma Hayek is taking responsibility after wading into controversy for promoting a a problematic novel to her social media followers.
It all began when Oprah Winfrey appeared on “CBS This Morning” and took to social media earlier this week to announce her latest pick for “Oprah’s Book Club”: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.
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Hello, fellow book lovers! My next book club selection is “American Dirt” by @jeaninecummins. From the first sentence, I was IN. Like so many of us, I’ve read newspaper articles and watched television news stories and seen movies about the plight of families looking for a better life, but this story changed the way I see what it means to be a migrant in a whole new way. Tap the link in my bio to grab yourself a copy and follow @oprahsbookclub to join the conversation. We’ll start discussing it soon 📚 #ReadWithUs
While the book — about a Mexican woman’s harrowing journey to the U.S. border as she and her eight-year-old son flee after the rest of their family was killed by a drug cartel — has been praised by the likes of Stephen King and John Grisham, it’s also been hit with backlash.
As NPR reports, Latinx critics have slammed Cummins — who is white — for what they say are her inauthentic, stereotypical portrayals of Latinx characters, with one critic griping that the book “doesn’t reflect the truth of the migrant experience.”
Salma Hayek was apparently unaware of the controversy when she took to Twitter, displaying a copy of the ebook version of American Dirt and encouraging her followers to check it out.
Hayek found herself hit with backlash, leading her to delete the original tweet.
She then shared an apology on Instagram, taking full responsibility for not doing her homework before promoting the book.
“Yesterday, I posted a message about a book which I removed from my Instagram,” she wrote on Friday. “I want to say to all of you that I got very excited when Oprah shared with me her pick for her book club because in the description of the book I learned that it was the story of a Mexican woman, so I rushed into sharing my excitement with you.”
She continued: “I confess, I have not read it and was not aware of any kind of controversy. I thank all of you who caught me in the act of not doing my research, and for setting me straight, because that means you know me and gave me the benefit of the doubt; and I apologize for shouting out something without experiencing it or doing research on it.”