James Patterson apologizes after backlash over comments about racism against older white men

·2 min read
James Patterson
James Patterson

James Patterson has issued an apology after comments he made during a conversation with The Times received significant backlash. In the interview, the novelist said that older white men experience “another form of racism” in Hollywood and the publishing industry.

Patterson shared the apology on his Twitter account on Tuesday, writing, “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.”

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In the Times interview, Patterson discussed the difficulty he believed his peers experience while seeking jobs in the entertainment or publishing industries.

“What’s that all about?” Patterson questioned. “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.”

Later on in the same interview, he also lamented the 2020 walkout that staffers at his publisher Little, Brown and Company staged in protest of the release of Woody Allen’s memoir. “I hated that,” Patterson said, referring to the walkout. “[Allen] has the right to tell his own story.”

Patterson is currently on a book tour for his upcoming memoir James Patterson: The Stories of My Life, billed as a story answering the question: “How did a kid whose dad lived in the poorhouse become the most successful storyteller in the world?”

Patterson, who has seen about a dozen of his thriller novels adapted into successful films, was most recently estimated to be worth $800 million. His most recent thriller Run, Rose, Run, which he co-wrote with Dolly Parton, is currently in the process of being made in into a film alongside Reese Witherspoon’s company production company Hello, Sunshine.