Chipotle has responded to criticism over its new literary campaign's lack of Latino authors (we had a little fun yesterday imagining what that might look like). The restaurant chain's reply is refreshingly devoid of "corporate-speak," openly noting some of the qualms and questions authors, including "well-known Latino writers," had about the campaign when approached about it.
Here's what a representative for Chipotle told Fusion:
This is the first run of packaging we have done that includes stories from various authors and putting it together was a learning process, in large part because there was nothing to point to by way of providing context when reaching out to writers, and some were concerned that it may be too commercial or could be an implicit endorsement if they provided a story. To get the slate of 10 authors we currently have, we reached out to a diverse pool of more than 40 writers that included Latino authors. Many more authors declined our request to submit a piece than accepted, including well known Latino writers. If we move forward with this program, we will certainly look to add to the diversity of contributors, and believe we will be in a better position to attract a wider cross-section of writers with something to point to and given how well this program has been received.
We hope Chipotle does indeed move forward with it and is able to attract a whole range of interesting people to write for them. Leaving aside writers' understandable concerns about whether their involvement "may be too commercial or could be an implicit endorsement," the campaign's central idea is a good one, especially if it gets people reading and makes them more aware of authors both established and up-and-coming. In that spirit, here are some suggestions of Latino authors we love — some who are iconic in their field and whose names you already know, others you may want to learn more about — who could be a good fit for the campaign:
Want more suggestions? Check out "Cultivating Invisibility: Chipotle's Missing Mexicans" for recs on Mexican and Mexican-American writers, check out Radio Ambulante's many author interviews, or spend some time with "Latino Author" tag on Tumblr.