AceShowbiz - James Patterson has apologized for his recent statement about white men not getting writing jobs due to "racism." In a Facebook post on Tuesday, June 14, the best-selling crime and mystery novelist backtracked on his remarks, which he initially made during an interview with the U.K.'s Sunday Times.
"I apologize for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism," so Patterson wrote on his page, adding, "I absolutely do not believe that racism is practiced against white writers." The writer, who recently co-authored a book with Dolly Parton, went on to say, "Please know that I strongly support a diversity of voices being heard-in literature, in Hollywood, everywhere."
In the said interview last week, he revealed that he feared it's become increasingly difficult for white male writers to obtain jobs in film or publishing, calling it "just another form of racism." He explained, "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."
His comments quickly put him under fire with other authors criticizing him. Most of them noted that Patterson himself was still among the top of many bestseller lists. Many also pointed out that Patterson is one of the most successful authors of all time as he has sold over 450 million copies of his books, according to the Sunday Times.
According to the New York Times Opinion desk, white writers wrote 89% of books published in 2018, even though non-Hispanic white people make up 60% of the U.S. population. Additionally, the Writers Guild of America West revealed in a 2021 report that 77% of screenwriters are white with 50% of screenwriters being white men.
Also in the same interview, Patterson shared the reason he made the protagonist of one of his more successful series, the "Alex Cross" novels, a black man. He elaborated, "I just wanted to create a character who happened to be black," adding, "I would not have tried to write a serious saga about a black family."
Patterson went on to say that he had not encountered criticism for the decision to make Cross black. For that matter, he attributed to a period in Hollywood where "there was all this talent and nobody got hired."