James Patterson has apologized for his comments claiming that white male writers face racism.
In a tweet published to Patterson’s official Twitter account, the author wrote about his controversial comments that white male writers “have trouble finding work” in the modern publishing industry, which he referred to as “another form of racism.”
“I absolutely do not believe that racism is practiced against white writers,” Patterson wrote. “Please know that I strongly support a diversity of voices being heard—in literature, in Hollywood, everywhere.”
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.
— James Patterson (@JP_Books) June 14, 2022
James Patterson first claimed that white male writers face “another form of racism” and criticized his own publisher for dropping Woody Allen’s memoir in an interview that published over the weekend.
The author was profiled for British paper the Sunday Times for his recent memoir “James Patterson: The Stories of My Life.” Speaking to journalist Sarah Baxter about his career, Patterson claimed that it is more difficult for white male writers to get started in the publishing world now, saying they face “another form of racism.”
“Can you get a job? Yes. Is it harder? Yes,” Patterson said. “It’s even harder for older writers. You don’t meet many 52-year-old white males.”
Patterson’s comments came after a question about the 75-year-old writer’s “Alex Cross” series, which launched him to fame and stars a middle-aged Black man as the titular detective and psychologist. When asked about writing a Black character as a white man, Patterson said he created Cross as a character who “happened to be Black.”
“I just wanted to create a character who happened to be Black,” Patterson said. “I would not have tried to write a serious saga about a Black family. It’s different in a detective story because plot is so important.”
During the interview, Patterson also expressed disapproval with the decision of his publisher, Hachette Book Group, to drop the Woody Allen memoir “Apropos of Nothing” in early 2020. The decision was made following a walkout of employees, along with criticism from Allen’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who has alleged that Allen sexually abused her as a child. The memoir was ultimately picked up and published by Arcade Publishing.
“I hated that,” Patterson said about Hachette dropping the book, saying that he’s “almost always on the side of free speech” and that Allen had “the right to tell his own story.”
According to the Sunday Times, Patterson mentions Allen and the alleged abuse Farrow experienced in his memoir.
“Do I know what went on between Allen and the Farrows?” he writes. “Nope. And neither do you.”