Best-selling author James Patterson apologized on Facebook Tuesday for his claim in a Sunday London Times article that it was harder for older white writers to get work in film, television, and publishing.
"(The problem is) just another form of racism," the Sunday Times reported the author saying in an interview from his greater New York City area home. "What's that all about? 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."
After a stream of backlash erupted from his remarks, Patterson went to Facebook Tuesday to apologize for his comments.
"I apologize for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism," he wrote on the social media platform. "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."
Among those taking issue with Patterson's comments, author, lawyer, and self-proclaimed woman's rights activist, Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu said the remarks were "White supremacy personified."
"Caucacity of this false equivalence claiming 'racism' against White men is more White supremacy personified," she posted on Twitter Monday. "What an obtuse statement from James Patterson. He best pick up books and educate himself on what racism is. He's missing good old days when White men had ALL the writing gigs?"
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Patterson's publisher, Hachette, said in March that it has contracted with 34% people of color, compared with 29% in 2020, and 22% in 2019.
According to the company, 65% of its work force, and 78% of senior managers are White.
Another publishing house, Penguin Random House, found in an audit that 75% of its "contributors, authors, illustrators, and other creators," were White compared to 5% Hispanic, 6% Black, and 7% Asian, according to the Times report.
New York Times best-selling author Frederick Joseph said on Twitter that, as a Black author, he has had dozens of his books, some of which that went on to be best sellers, rejected because "White editors" don't understand them.
"James Patterson thinks white men are facing racism in publishing," Frederick posted on Twitter Monday. "From a Black man who has had over 50 rejections of books (all of which are now bestsellers) because white editors don't understand them or 'already have Black male authors'… shut up. Also, James has a ghostwriter."
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