Chipotle Tries to Explain Why Its ‘Curated Thought’ Series Doesn’t Include Latino Authors

By Jamilah King May 22, 2014

Last week, Chipotle revealed its "Curated Thought" series, which will feature 10 well-known authors whose commissioned short stories will appear on the company’s bags and cups for customers’ reading pleasure. While the series includes well-known authors like Toni Morrison and Malcolm Gladwell, it doesn’t feature any Latino writers, a noticeable omission for a restaraunt that sells quasi-Mexican food.

Calling the initial campaign a "learning process," company representatives say that they reached out to 40 authors – including a number of Latino writers – before narrowing down its "Cultivating Thought" series to 10 authors, including such celebrated scribes as Morrison, Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis.

"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," Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold told Fox News Latino in an email. "Many more authors declined our request to submit a piece than accepted, including well known Latino writers."

OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano blasted the company, writing, "In [author Jonathan] Foer’s world, Latino authors simply don’t exist and simply don’t appeal to his Chipotle worldview of what the chain is advertising as ‘Cultivating Thought’ — the only Mexican cultivation the two approve for their beloved burritos is the tomatoes harvested by Florida pickers."

Others question the company’s claim that it really reached out to Latino writers in the first place. "Chipotle’s response that they ‘reached out’ to "more than 40 writers that included Latino authors" is suspect," author Michele Serros told Fox News Latino. "Our literary community has heard nothing of this so-called outreach to Latino authors."

Arnold, the Chipotle representative, said that if the series continues, the company will make changes. "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."