Oprah Winfrey's soon-to-be televised discussion about the controversial novel "American Dirt" is drawing scrutiny for not inviting some of the book's harshest Latino critics.
The talk show host organized her much-hyped conversation with author Jeanine Cummins on Thursday after inviting around 250 people to the Harkins Theatres Arizona Pavilions in southern Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star reports. The crowd was then directed to another Tucson, Arizona, location and asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
The discussion will be the next episode in Winfrey's new Apple TV+ series Oprah's Book Club, which features personal conversations with authors in front of a live audience.
Details of the gathering were not known since the audience was banned from speaking about the event until after the show airs in March.
The novel about a Mexican mother and her young son fleeing to the U.S. border had been praised widely before its Jan. 21 release. But anger built over allegations the book relied on stereotypes, caricatures, and material similar to another Latino writer.
Latino critics also blasted promotions at book release parties that had floral art centerpieces with barbed wire mimicking the border wall.
Oprah chose the novel for her book club shortly after its release, drawing more anger from Latino critics.
In a video posted on Instagram following the criticism, Winfrey said she now realizes the book struck "an emotional chord" with Latinos and created a need for deeper conversation.
On Wednesday, the group #DignidadLiteraria posted an open letter to Winfrey on the site Literary Hub calling for deeper conversations about "the continued underrepresentation of (Latino) authors in publishing and in your highly influential book club."
The letter mentioned the Tucson event and called for a private meeting with Winfrey and their movement.
"We urge to you open your mind and heart to actual Latinos the way you have publicly declared you did to Jeanine's fictional characters," the letter read.
Writer Roberto Lovato, one of the signers of the letter, wrote on Twitter about not receiving an invitation to Winfrey's Tucson event.
"People are starting to enter @Oprah's 'all sides,' completely staged #AmericanDirt spectacle for @AppleTV in Tucson. Though we were not invited & though we r interested in talking re industry, not spectacles, she will be hearing from #DignidadLiteraria," he wrote.
The episode, which is set to debut in March, is the third installment of the series. The first two episodes were hour-long conversations with book club authors Ta-Nehisi Coates and Elizabeth Strout.
The period costumes of a Julian Fellowes drama can be excruciatingly accurate, as an actress in his new series "Belgravia" discovered.
The Epix drama from "Downton Abbey" creator Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame is set in 19th-century London and features Tamsin Greig, who starred in the TV comedy "Episodes," and Philip Glenister ("Cranford").
Asked if the elaborate outfits were difficult or easy to work in, Greig gave a quick reply.
"Do you think that they look easy?' she said. "I was under the care of an osteopath within a week of filming, and I realized that I should have prepared better by wearing a corset for a few hours each day in the weeks up to beginning shooting."
It's impossible to get the silhouette of the 1840s without the binding undergarment that women wore, she said. If the limited series' actresses look like they're comfortable, Greig added, "it's really great acting."
Alice Eve ("Bombshell") and Ella Purnell ("Sweetbitter") also star in the series and joined in a presentation to TV critics Saturday. The six-part drama will debut April 12.
"Belgravia," set in the grand London neighborhood of that name, was adapted by Fellowes from his eponymous 2016 novel. Asked to compare the series to "Downton Abbey," the hit TV drama that unfolded in the early 1900s, Fellowes said the projects reflect the periods in which they're set.
For the Epix limited series, it's the "rise of the great Victorian era of manufacturing and money and ... the expansion of London," he said. "Whereas you could say that 'Downton' was on the other side of the hill, it was part of the decline, particularly as we follow it through the '20s."
"Belgravia" is a "can-do show," he said. "It's really about people achieving what they want, despite the difficulties the society places in their path. ... But I hope it is essentially a kind of uplifting tale."
Fellowes was pleased by the reception for last year's big screen version of "Downton Abbey," which arrived four years after the series ended on PBS, but was noncommittal about the possibility of a second film. He's got another TV series in the works, "The Gilded Age" for HBO, set in 1880s America.
The son of television producer Jenji Kohan, who created the series "Örange Is the New Black," died in a New Year's Eve ski accident in Utah, police said Thursday.
Charles "Charlie" Noxon, 20, was pronounced dead after hitting a sign Tuesday on an intermediate-level trail at Park City Mountain resort , police said.
He was alone and there were no witnesses to the crash, but it appears that it happened as he tried to navigate a fork in the trail, Summit County sheriff's Lt. Andrew Wright said.
He was quickly discovered by other skiers and pronounced dead by an air ambulance crew before reaching a hospital. He had experience skiing and was wearing a helmet, Wright said. The cause of death is under investigation.
Noxon was on a trip with his siblings and father, journalist Christopher Noxon, police said. They were further down the mountain at the time of the accident.
His mother is known for creating the Netflix show "Orange Is the New Black" and the Showtime series "Weeds."
A native of Los Angeles, Charlie Noxon was a junior at Columbia University, studying philosophy, economics and Chinese, his family said in a statement released by police.
"He was questioning, irreverent, curious and kind," his parents wrote. "Charlie had a beautiful life of study and argument and travel and food and razzing and adventure and sweetness and most of all love. We cannot conceive of life without him."
He is survived by his parents and siblings, Eliza and Oscar. His funeral will be Sunday at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
The ski resort is located near the home of the Sundance Film Festival, set to begin later this month.
More than two years after he killed himself in his prison cell, former NFL star Aaron Hernandez's story still fascinates — and now it's heading back to the small screen.
Netflix is releasing "Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez" on Jan. 15. The three-part documentary examines the meteoric but troubled — and violent — rise and fall of the late New England Patriots tight end.
A teaser for director Geno McDermott's film opens with chilling audio of a collect call Hernandez made to his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins. Hernandez can be heard saying: "My whole body's shaking right now." Jenkins asks, "What happened?" and Hernandez responds: "You know my temper."
In July, Hernandez's estate settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the families of two men he was acquitted of killing. Prosecutors alleged Hernandez fatally shot Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in 2012 after a confrontation at a nightclub. Hernandez killed himself in prison in 2017 while serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of semi-professional football player Odin Lloyd.
Hernandez's death came just a few days after he was acquitted of most charges in the double murder case. After his death, doctors found the 27-year-old Hernandez had advanced chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to concussions and other head trauma commonplace in the NFL.
Transcripts the Bristol County sheriff released last year of more than 900 jailhouse telephone conversations Hernandez had with family and friends showed he expected to be released from jail and resume his football career shortly after his arrest for Lloyd's killing. Hernandez had a five-year, $40 million deal with the Patriots at the time of his arrest.
McDermott and producer Terry Leonard say the latest film will feature some of those phone calls as well as courtroom footage and interviews with those closest to Hernandez and Lloyd. The project, they said in a statement, "examines the perfect storm of factors leading to the trial, conviction, and death of an athlete who seemingly had it all."
Filmmakers and authors have had no shortage of material to work with in recounting the story of the handsome, polite athlete from Bristol, Connecticut, who was a high school standout and an All-American at the University of Florida before his three seasons with New England and subsequent fall from grace.
A state police report of the investigation into Hernandez's death said the player wrote "John 3:16," a reference to a Bible verse, in ink on his forehead and in blood on a cell wall. The verse says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
A Bible was nearby, open to John 3:16, with the verse marked by a drop of blood. And authorities said Hernandez was a member of the Bloods street gang and had been disciplined for having gang paraphernalia in prison.
Hernandez's story has already inspired a documentary aired on Oxygen, a "48 Hours" special and books by bestselling author James Patterson and Hernandez's defense lawyer, Jose Baez.
Chinese TV series Journey to the West, based on a Chinese novel depicting the epic adventure of a Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuan Zang, is going to be aired in Nepali language for the third time.
The Nepali translation and dubbing of the TV series was done by Araniko Society, an alumni association of scholars and experts who have graduated from China.
At a press conference here on Wednesday, Araniko Society said the series will be broadcasted on two TV channels owing to its growing popularity among the Nepali audiences.
Addressing the program, renowned Nepali writer and scholar Satya Mohan Joshi said that the Chinese series will help Nepali people understand Chinese culture, art and philosophy.
"China is our neighbor. And we get to know about its culture from the series. It is a welcoming step. It will help in the promotion of cultural ties and friendship," Joshi said.
Hailing the monk for his contribution to the promotion of Buddhism, he said that the series based on Xuan Zeng's journey will help Nepali audiences embrace cultural diversity.
The series, which is of 25 episodes originally, has been divided into 50 episodes, each of 30 minutes in Nepali language. It will be aired on two TV channels Nepal Mandal and Indigenous TV from the upcoming weekend.
Journey to the West was aired for the first time in the South Asian country in 2016 on Nepal Mandal. The channel aired it for the second consecutive year in 2017, following the encouraging response from the audiences.
"Based on our data, nearly 1 million people had watched the series through our channel in the past. We got positive feedback from our audiences, thus we are happy to air it again," said Mahesh Maharjan, head of Nepal Mandal.
According to Araniko Society, the Nepali translation and dubbing of the series, through local artists, was completed four years ago. It took nearly two years for the completion of technical works.
Fifty-two-year-old Umesh Mayalu was one of the dubbing artists, who lend his voice in the series.
"I have given voice for both monkey and pig characters. It was very difficult during dubbing, but I am very happy to be a part of the work," Umesh told Xinhua.