James Patterson Apologizes After Backlash: “I Absolutely Do Not Believe That Racism Is Practiced Against White Writers”

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UPDATE: Author James Paterson issued a straightforward apology today for comments he recently made to the Sunday Times. Patterson, who is 75, started by admitting what he said and apologizing for it: “I apologize for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism.”

Here is the full statement he issued today:

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I apologize for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism. 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.

PREVIOUSLY on June 13: In an interview with The Sunday Times, author James Patterson lamented the struggle he says white men now face find writing jobs in film, theater, TV and publishing industries. He called it “just another form of racism.”

“What’s that all about?” Patterson asked rhetorically. “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.”

The 75-year-old has had six of his books made into films over the years, and just last week Deadline reported that his Run, Rose, Run, which has remained a New York Times bestseller since it debuted at No. 1 in March, was picked up by Sony Pictures in “a highly competitive” bidding situation.

His comments to the Sunday Times have stirred up a hornet’s nest, with a number of commenters latching onto the author’s most recent tweet about an ad in the Sunday NY Times about his current book, James Patterson: The Stories of My Life, and replying with things like “I will never read another one of your books” and “So sorry to hear about the discrimination you and your $700 million face on a daily basis. We really should do more to help rich white multi millionaires get their voices heard.”

The Stories of My Life is billed as a memoir about how Patterson rose from “a boy from small-town New York [to] become the world’s most successful writer.”

Three of the six books Patterson has had translated to film featured detective Alex Cross, who was played by Morgan Freeman in Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider and by Tyler Perry in Alex Cross..

Of that, Patterson told the Sunday Times, “I just wanted to create a character who happened to be Black. I would not have tried to write a serious saga about a Black family. It’s different in a detective story because plot is so important.”

Not long ago, Patterson decried the trouble Woody Allen had publishing his memoir after renewed abuse allegations by Mia Farrow’s children.

“I hated that,” Patterson told the Sunday Times. “He has the right to tell his own story.”

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