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

James Patterson is getting older and you would think his $800 million fortune would be enough to live on. He still writes books (we’ll get to that later) and is currently on a press tour for his autobiography, James Patterson by James Patterson. In a recent interview with the British newspaper The Sunday Times, Patterson railed against what he saw as the erection of barriers that prevented white men from entering the creative arts.

“What is this all about? Can you get a job? Yes. Is it harder? Yes,” Patterson, 75, told the British newspaper. “It’s even harder for writers You don’t meet a lot of 52-year-old white men.

This assumption is completely wrong, as the data show. What Patterson might have realized, albeit with the wrong conclusion, is that there are more opportunities for underrepresented artists to enter the arena.

Are there any statistics to back up his claims?

Many publishing houses have released data over the past two years that would refute Patterson’s claims. Penguin Random House released data showing that three out of four American contributors are white. Of course, that would make sense given that white people make up the majority of people in the United States. However, the white population in the United States is around 60%, which means whites are vastly overrepresented among publishers.

Additionally, a 2020 report from the New York Times found a more striking result in his own findings. He said the the publishing industry is 89% white writers.

What was the reaction to Patterson’s comments?

Patterson was hammered on Twitter for the comments, with users calling him out for sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth. Too bad it’s hard to get gigs.

A bit of context for this tweet, Patterson regularly uses ghostwriters to maintain a huge amount of titles published per year. To date, “he” has written more than 300 books.

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