James Patterson apologizes for saying white male authors ‘racism’ – National

Prolific novelist James Patterson publicly apologized on Tuesday after comments he made during a newspaper interview drew strong criticism.

In an article published by The Sunday Times on Sunday, Patterson talks about how white male writers are victims of “racism,” especially older white men.

Patterson expressed concern “that it is difficult for white men to write appearances for film, theater, TV or publishing,” as paraphrased by The Sunday Times.

The paper quoted him as saying that this alleged exclusion of white males “is just another form of racism. What’s that about?”

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“Can you get a job? Yes. Is it harder? Yes. It is even more difficult for older writers. You don’t meet a lot of 52-year-old white men,” Patterson told the outlet.

His comments immediately angered racialized writers who spoke about how difficult it is for them to make book deals.

Frederick Joseph, New York Times bestselling author of The black friend and Patriarchal Bluestweeted that he has had white editors reject his novels because they “already have black male authors”.

On Tuesday afternoon, Patterson shared his apology on social media.

“I’m sorry to say that white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism. I absolutely do not believe that racism is being used against white writers,” he wrote. “Please know that I’m a big believer in hearing a variety of voices — in literature, in Hollywood, everywhere.”

Patterson is one of the world’s most successful authors, having published more than 200 books and selling approximately 450 million copies of his work. One of his most popular series revolves around Alex Cross, a black detective, and has been filmed several times. Morgan Freeman and Tyler Perry have both portrayed Alex Cross in film adaptations.

In 2020, The New York Times analyzed 7,124 books and found that 95 percent of books written between 1950 and 2018 were written by white people. In 2018, whites wrote 89 percent of the books.

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