On Tuesday, James Patterson apologized for claiming in an interview that older white men face “racism” in the field of writing.
“I apologize for saying that white male writers struggling to find 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,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook.
Patterson, whose books ranging from science fiction to fantasy, thrillers, children’s books and more have sold hundreds of millions of copies, came under fire after commenting The Sunday Times that in his opinion, older white men had trouble getting writing jobs, which he called “just another form of racism”.
“What is this all about?” said Patterson. “Can you find a job? Yes. Is it more difficult? Yes. It’s even harder for older writers. You don’t meet a lot of 52-year-old white men.
The interview was posted online over the weekend and quickly drew widespread criticism. A number of writers and public figures have spoken out against Patterson’s comments, calling them insensitive and inaccurate – studies consistently show that writers of color remain underrepresented in publishing, as well as in other creative fields, and many who criticized his comments pointed to their own experiences with discrimination or microaggressions in the literary world.