Bestselling author James Patterson apologized following backlash for a comment he made in an interview in which he argued older White male writers faced “another form of racism” to find work in the entertainment industry.
On Tuesday, he walked back his remark and wrote in a Facebook post:
"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."
The 75-year-old multimillionaire is known for his Alex Cross, Michael Bennett and Women's Murder Club thriller series. His net worth was estimated as somewhere between $560 - $800 million in June 2022.
Patterson previously spoke with the Sunday Times and expressed concern it was "hard for White men to get writing gigs in film, theatre, TV or publishing."
Patterson identified the supposed problem as “just another form of racism."
"What’s that all about? 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.”
Twitter found it difficult to accept Patterson's apology.
Social media users aware of the established author's privilege scoffed at his claim and were quick to point out his net worth.
With over 200 titles and more than 400 million copies of his books sold, Patterson holds the distinction of having the largest number of books by a single author on The New York Times bestseller list.
However, he is frowned upon by literary critics for having his collaborators pen many of his novels.
Due to his impressive production rate, Patterson co-authors most of his novels—a process that involves him handing a rough outline of the plot and characters to a writer who fleshes out the novel with details overseen and approved by Patterson.
Many critics compare his process to that of a showrunner, who is the leading producer on a TV show overseeing the writing and production of each episode.
Some users slammed the author for not writing his own books.
Patterson concluded his statement of apology by asserting he strongly supports "a diversity of voices being heard–in literature, in Hollywood, everywhere."