Crime and mystery author James Patterson has apologized for his comments claiming that white male writers were subject to “just another form of racism” in an interview.
The 75-year-old author issued an apology through his social media accounts on Tuesday (June 14th), two days after he made his comments in an interview with The Times. “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.”, Patterson wrote in the post that appeared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Patterson had commented in the interview with the British paper that he felt that it was harder for white men to obtain writing opportunities in television and film. He would go on to claim that it is “just another form of racism”. The writer, who has sold roughly over 450 million books during his career, would go further with that thought. “What’s that all about?” He said. “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 comments spurred a serious backlash against the multimillionaire writer online from numerous individuals including some notable writers. Roseanne A. Brown, the New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels, said that Patterson’s comments are a huge part of the reason why Black writers such as herself and other writers of color are still dealing with being pushed aside even with the minimal gains some have made. “It’s part of an insidious pattern myself and many BIPOC authors face, where a few gains by writers of color in our industry are seen as this overwhelming wave pushing white writers out,” she said.