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James Patterson apologises for saying older white male writers face racism

James Patterson has apologised after suggesting that “white male writers” struggling to find work was “another form of racism”.

The 75-year-old, who is one of the highest-paid writers in the world, was met with criticism after making the comments in a recent interview.

In a profile in The Sunday Times, the journalist suggests that Patterson is “worried that it is hard for white men to get writing gigs in film, theatre, TV or publishing”.

“[It’s] just another form of racism,” he is then quoted as saying. “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.”

At the time, Patterson was criticised by many other authors, who pointed out that he made an estimated $80m (£66m) in 2020 and holds the record for having the most books in The New York Times’ bestsellers list.

Author Kellye Garrett commented: “Tell me you’ve never ACTUALLY experienced racism and sexism without telling me you’ve never experienced racism and sexism…”

In a Facebook post shared on Tuesday (14 June), Patterson has now backtracked on his comments, saying that he “absolutely” did not believe them.

“I apologise for saying white male writers having trouble finding work is a form of racism,” Patterson wrote.

“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.”

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