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Do white men face racism? According to writer James Patterson, they do.

America’s richest writer hit out at “another form of racism” as the 75-year-old rakes in millions per year from his books.

America’s richest writer hit out at “another form of racism” as the 75-year-old rakes in millions per year from his books.
Anadolu AgencyGetty

James Patterson is getting old and you would think his $800 million dollar fortune would be plenty to live off of. He still writes books (we’ll get back to that later) and is currently on a press tour for his autobiography, James Patterson by James Patterson. In a recent interview with UK newspaper The Sunday Times, Patterson railed against what he saw as the raising of barriers that were preventing white men from breaking into the creative arts.

“What’s that all about? Can you get a job? Yes. Is it harder? Yes,” Patterson, 75, told the British newspaper. “It’s even harder for older writers. You don’t meet many 52-year-old White males.”

This supposition is quite false, as data shows. What Patterson could have been realising, albeit with the wrong conclusion, is that there are more opportunities for under-represented artists to step into the arena.

Are there any statistics to support his claims?

Numerous publishing companies have published data in the last two years which would refute Patterson’s claims. Penguin Random House released data that showed three in every four of its US contributors are white. Of course this would make sense considering thay white people make up the majority of people in the US. However, the white population in the US is around 60 percent, meaning white people are largely over-represented at the publishers.

Furthermore, a 2020 report from the New York Times found a starker result in its own findings. It said that the publishing industry is made up of 89 percent white writers.

What has been the reaction to Patterson’s comments?

Patterson was hammered on Twitter for the comments, with users calling him out for the fact he is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth. So much for it being hard to get gigs.

A little bit of context to that tweet, Patterson regularly uses ghostwriters to keep up a huge amount of published titles a year. To date, ‘he’ has written over 300 books.

Patterson himself has responded to the criticism on Twitter, where he pushed back against his previous comments.


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