James Patterson Apologizes After Saying White Male Writers Encounter Racism
Bestselling author James Patterson apologized after he made comments about how male white writers are victims of “racism.”
During an interview with The Sunday Times, Patterson said that it is difficult for white men to get writing gigs in the film, theater, TV and publishing industries and that it is another form of “racism.”
“Can you get a job? Yes. Is it harder? Yes. It’s even harder for older writers. You don’t meet many 52-year-old white males,” Patterson told the British news outlet.
After the interview’s release, Patterson faced backlash on Twitter, with many people calling him out on his net worth, his use of ghostwriters and the multiple book deals per year he receives.
“One of the richest authors in the world, thinks it’s hard for 52-year-old white men to succeed because as we all know, old white men are so poorly represented as writers in film, tv, theatre, and publishing,” said Twitter user @menwritewomen.
Patterson took to Twitter on Tuesday to apologize for his comments. “I apologize for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism,” he said. “I absolutely do not believe that racism is practiced against white writers. Please know that I strongly support a diversity of voices being heard—in literature, in Hollywood, everywhere.”
The 75-year-old writer has penned and published over 200 titles, with many receiving screen adaptations. His most notable works include 22 Seconds, 1st to Die, Kiss The Girl and Fear No Evil. He also recently collaborated with country singer and superstar Dolly Parton in Run Rose Run, which will become a film adaptation by Sony Pictures.
Patterson has a net worth of $80 million a year, making him America’s highest-paid author according to Forbes‘ list of 1010 Celebrity 100 Earnings.
According to an analysis conducted by the New York Times in 2020, out of 7,124 books where the author’s race was identified, 95% of them were written by white authors. Non-white people account for about 40% of the total population in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
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