The company that published Jeanine Cummins’ controversial book American Dirt last week has vowed to “substantially increase” its Latinx representation across the board. A group of Latinx activists reportedly met on Monday with officials at Macmillan, the international parent company of Flatiron books, to discuss how the publisher could move to increase Latino representation in the industry. Online Latinx organizing group #DignidadLiteraria and Presente.org said in a statement after the meeting that Macmillan made “unprecedented commitments” to “transform their publishing practices.” According to the statement, the publisher’s pledge includes “developing an action plan to address these objectives within 90 days” and “regroup within 30 days with #DignidadLiteraria and other Latinx groups to assess progress.”
American Dirt, published on Jan. 21, chronicles the journey of a Mexican woman and her son who flee to the United States together as undocumented immigrants. The book sparked intense controversy and was accused of portraying stereotypes about Mexico, cultural appropriation, as well as misrepresenting the struggles of migrants. Macmillan subsequently cancelled the entire book tour last week and acknowledged “deep inadequacies” in its publishing of the bestseller.