On the day American Dirt was released, famous Latinas flocked to Instagram to post their adoration for the book — without even reading it. Gina Rodriguez praised the book. Yalitza Aparicio did so as well. Salma Hayek promoted the book on her Instagram, and when she finally got clued into the controversy, she retracted her endorsement. Who knows why they would support a book they never read, but perhaps Oprah’s Book Club backing had something to do with it. There is one famous Latina that never posted a selfie with the book. She’s speaking very loudly and aggressively against it.
During a women’s panel in Eva Longoria in Beverly Hills, Eva Longoria used her platform to say what a lot of people on social media have been saying for weeks.
um… I can't be the only one who didn't expect Eva Longoria to say all this right…ok!! pic.twitter.com/nF4CSlnaUA
— javier (@rudeftm) February 6, 2020
“I have not read the book. I will not read the book. It’s just parallel and synonymous with what’s happening in entertainment, what’s happening in government. The gatekeepers of the industries do not reflect the people and the consumers that they serve,” Longoria said, according to Instyle. “That’s the problem.”
But Longoria didn’t stop there. She went on to talk about the exclusivity within the publishing industry that delivers white content from white writers and editors to white readers. It’s a topic she knows all too well because, of course, the Hollywood industry is just as white, if not more so. She also went on to discuss the recent allegations, which turned out to be false, about the cancelation of the book tour due to security reasons.
Here to remind folks that @EvaLongoria has a masters in Chicano studies, is a fervent defender & advocate of the Latino community, & unlike most celebrities, she puts her $ where her mouth is and helps build Latino political power across the country.
We stan a Latina champion. https://t.co/qc7PQQezxs
— Tomás Kloosterman (@tomkloosterman) February 7, 2020
“What made me really upset was when the publisher said, ‘We had to cancel the book tour because of safety concerns,’ which made my community look like we’re crazy people going to cause trouble. We’re not. We’re just being outspoken about the inaccuracies of what this book represents. The last thing I’ll say that it really pissed me off — I’m gonna say it, I’m gonna get crazy — is [that the author said] “I wish a browner person than me wrote this book.” They did! It was [Sonia Nazario’s] Enrique’s Journey, [Óscar Martínez’s] The Beast—many Latino authors have written this story! Oprah didn’t pick them.”
While the Latinx community has spoken out about the book on social media, we’re thrilled that Longoria is joining the effort. No one with your fame status has said anything about it. Yes, Hayek did address the topic on social media, but Longoria did much more than that. She vocally spoke out against the industry, the writer, and Oprah’s refrain from including Latinx writers in her beloved Book Club.