In all my years, I’ve managed to avoid reading a James Patterson novel. I’ve watched some of his books adapted for the screen, notably the Alex Cross series. My mother used to be a Patterson fan but I think she’s over it. Patterson is one of the most successful writers of all time, and most of his books are simple mass-market fiction. He’s 75 years old and worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Before today, I never realized that his early professional years were spent in advertising, in the 1970s, when women had next to no power in that business or any business. Crash cut fifty years, and this old white man is lamenting the fact that it’s hard out here for… white guys. It’s hard for plain old heterosexual cisgender white guys to get ahead. Patterson said all of this openly in the middle of an interview with the Times of London. Some highlights:
On the Alex Cross franchise: “I just wanted to create a character who happened to be black. 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.”
He worries about white men getting opportunities: Today, though, he worries that it is hard for white men to get writing gigs in film, theatre, TV or publishing. The problem is “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.”
He’s writing a royal book: It will be a book about Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry co-written with the journalist Chris Mooney. The blurb suggests it could be quite syrupy (“Even after she’s gone, her sons follow their mother’s lead — and her heart”). “I would never have done a book about Diana as a princess. This is about her as a mother and the effect of the Crown on her sons. Harry has said at a certain point, ‘I can’t do this thing,’ and William has said, ‘I can do this thing.’ For these two men there’s all sorts of pressure to act in a certain way. Being a second son it is probably a little easier for Harry to say no.”
He enjoys women: “I like women and women characters. I find men to be a little too monochromatic. They talk about money, sports and cars.”
On Jeffrey Epstein: “I know [most of Epstein’s friends] didn’t know. Why would Epstein tell people? Is it possible there were a dozen friends who knew? Yes, it is likely. I’m not saying Prince Andrew per se was one, but he may have been. Is it possible somebody said, ‘We are not going to have this guy [Epstein] around to testify? Yes, but it is just as possible that he killed himself.”
Caustic: Patterson has a ready-made title for a sequel about Ghislaine Maxwell, “Filthy Bitch”. It’s uncharacteristically caustic for him, although he also lays into an unnamed British writer of a similar vintage to himself known to be “horrible” on US book tours. “You can guess who,” he says correctly.
Unnamed British writer close to his age? Tina Brown? I don’t know, it could be a fiction author. As for his comments about white dudes… James might have been a hungry writer, starving for legitimacy early in his career, but these days, he’s as insulated and tunnel-visioned as every other rich white man. Men like Patterson see everything zero sum game – if women, BIPOC or LGBTQ people have something, that must mean their something was taken away from white men. Imagine saying with a straight face “where did all of the 50-something white male writers go?” THEY ARE LITERALLY EVERYWHERE, YOU DOUCHE.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
OH SHUT UP.
My favourite retort is, “when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
It is not oppression, yet. Once white men experience at least a couple hundred years of civil systems and institutions stripping them of ALL their rights, agency and dignity, simply based on their gender and color of skin, while everyone else gets a free ride and have the right to own them, then we can talk.
Say it, Saba!
And it’s not even “equality.” It’s just “slightly less privilege” that makes white men run and cry about being the biggest victims in the history of the world. “OH SHUT UP” is exactly right.
Word for word my exact thought. I saw a quote on Twitter yesterday (wish I could remember who said it because it has stuck with me): white men think that just because their world is falling apart that means the world is falling apart.”
Yes, times are changing, Jamie my boy. Now you have to actually compete with people who were held back. Sorry you have to put in effort?
“…Is it harder? Yes.”
Oh, my god. So you actually have to compete with other, equally talented writers now, rather than just riding on your caucasian coattails. A hearty 🖕🏻, bad sir.
Won’t somebody think of the rich, mediocre, old white men?!
LOLLLLLLL! Never read one of his books and never will!
His books are, as far as my experience goes, the books that line the shelves of your uncle’s stuffy old study or the books that fill a sloppy airport bookstore with 2 stacks, and in both of those circumstances are covered with an inch thick layer of dust.
A couple of years ago, before I left Facebook, he put out an “announcement” He was asking for people to submit their storylines to him. You wouldn’t get credit or compensation but you would be able to see the inner workings of the publishing process. He is a fraud and now I question whether he wrote any of his books. Oh and he is a racist POS to boot
If you look at the covers of his numerous, numerous novels, you’ll notice most (if not all) have co-authors. THE GOLD BOND MURDERS by JAMES PATTERSON and Some Other Guy. Patterson does a plot outline and the big moments, then the co-author does the actual work (as I understand it).
Tried to read one of his books about a women’s book club or something once and it was literally at a fifth grade reading level. Just pathetic.
With the proliferation of streaming services there are more jobs in television and movies then ever before. White men aren’t hurting for work.
I’ve never read a book by this man, nor will I after learning that Jared Kushner took one of Patterson’s writing seminars to bone up on writing his own memoir. Is there no depth to Patterson’s trashy avarice?
Let me grab my tiny violin and play them the world’s saddest song… how sad that rich, white men have no power in the world. Look at how sad and oppressed they are now that they have to *work* to get things instead of just being gifted them because they’re so good at being white and rich and male.
To paraphrase a comment from yesterday, Is it possible that white men aren’t the best in the room? That maybe POC, women, and LBGTQ+ people have more talent than they do and that’s why they’re getting hired over cis hetero white guys?
There is no way in hell people will ever believe the above is true. It is always the fault of the marginalized person: you were never invited in the room in the past because you didn’t measure up, and now you are being invited in the rooms because you couldn’t measure up on your own merits.
Which is it, America? Has the playing field always been level with no discrimination and, thus, trying to correct discrimination is (reverse) discrimination in and of itself? Or has the playing field always been tilted toward whites and, even more specifically, white men, and the correction you’re feeling now is not due to reverse discrimination (hint: no such thing), but rather due to the people in the margins getting merit-based opportunities they would not have been offered in the past , whose merit would have been overlooked had white cis het (mainly) men continued to have their way?
I LOVE THIS COMMENT.
I’m not following what you’re trying to get at. They will absolutely say that it’s the first: the playing field has always been level, white men were just better, that’s why they were dominating lucrative fields, and now they are being punished for it, yes. I don’t agree, but I don’t understand where you think the “gotcha” is?
Had it up to here with bratty privileged old white dudes and their whining.
So much wrong in the world is down to those a-holes throwing this huge collective crybaby tantrum over having to learn to share.
“I know [most of Epstein’s friends] didn’t know. Why would Epstein tell people? Is it possible there were a dozen friends who knew? Yes, it is likely. I’m not saying Prince Andrew per se was one, but he may have been. Is it possible somebody said, ‘We are not going to have this guy [Epstein] around to testify? Yes, but it is just as possible that he killed himself.”
Yeah, that’s not a suspicious thing to say at all….
Of course, the pictures of adolescent girls in various states of undress that were on the walls all over Epstein’s homes weren’t any kind of hint to his guests. Nothing to see here….
Yeah he sounds pretty scared people might look into his connections to Epstein. That’s really really gross.
Um, James? Get off the cross; we need the wood.
His books have been sh*t for years. I don’t even think he writes them anymore. So he can just shut his mouth and go away.
He writes detailed outlines and then checks to see if the ghost writers get it right. Given that some of his chapters are like a page long, he probably actually writes about half the books. Every single thing he said was gross.
He is nothing but a book whore. He rents out his name to his co-authors and does no work. I haven’t read a book of his in 20 years. He doesn’t deserve the fame he has.
People on Twitter were calling him out on the fact that he relies so very much on ghost writers for his novels. He isn’t authoring much of anything these days, except grievances.
Can we just move on from the patriarchy already?
So many people trying to defend him are saying “it’s really ageism for new authors he’s talking about.” If that’s true, why hasn’t he used his considerable clout to break these people rather than riding the backs of his co-authors and at the end of the day taking the lion’s share of the credit and the money? (Also white guys over 50 aren’t exactly hurting in the publishing game: 15 white men over 50 had No. 1 NYT fiction bestsellers in 2021).
If all men talk about is cars and money then why should they be getting book deals anyway?
And if I were him I would shut the hell up about Epstein before people get curious about why he’s so interested in defending Epstein’s friends (who absolutely did know he was a predator).
The delusion is strong with this one. Does he believe the election was “stolen” too? Smh.
I also have skipped his voracious output of fiction and now realize he should stick to merely the writing and skip the political musings of the right wing whiners. How many other writers are waiting to slither out with this refrain and ignore the reality of others?
Phew Lucky me! ive never read any of his books, i only learned his name when i used to watch castle. i was almost tempted when he wrote a book about Dolly parton. Now he is writing a book about Diana and her Boys, seems that is what this is really about preping an audience
Its not oppression if your privilege (un-based and unfounded special treatment and access and lack of punishments and drawbacks) are taken away.
Its oppression when the above, are not also granted to you (for not being a white man) also for no special reason other than that you are alive.
Why do people think that way – that if someone else comes up in life, it’s taking away from others? Why can’t we just applaud others successes and use it to challenge yourself to be better rather than waste time hating?
That’s what they don’t understand, that ensuring the rights of others doesn’t take away your own rights. It just levels the playing ground, so the competition is tougher. This is really what these old white guys are responding to–before, they only had to compete with each other, so not so difficult.
@ Merricat, yes! JP has been living large solely because he is a white cis male!! JP has been thriving with mediocrity for decades, his “victim” comments as a white cis male facing “oppression” are nothing more than his racist views!!
White men are starting to experience the rumblings of making systems more fair where their mediocrity isn’t going to cut it anymore and it feels like oppression that they’re going to have to step up their game! Sidenote, maybe if white supremacy didn’t create systems based on “lack”, white men wouldn’t be so scared of falling of the pedestal they created! Don’t worry white men, your privilege is still very well intact and the rest of us want to see society from a place of abundance!
The most on-brand thing a white man could say.
I see your username, lol!
You can really see what is happening here, before our eyes, the poor white guys, who never had to compete with everyone, now must, and they really hate it! HAHAHAHAHAAHAHA. He’s pretty worried that lots of white guys cannot compete with the rest of us. They can’t compete because we are never allowed coast through life, we have to work our behinds off to get anywhere. It has taken me almost 30 years as a woman in tech to push and demand people listen to what I am saying. Honestly, I’m so tired of their whining, when the rest of us were told repeatedly, by folks like Mr. Patterson, to stop whining and work harder. I’m going to cut myself off here so I stay civil towards these little baby whiners.
You nailed it!
I’m going to leave this here:
“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”
Hahahahahaha. Good one.
The funny thing is that there can be problems with ageism in many sectors and it was like he was so close to that point and failed.
Meh. He’s just old and irrelevant. It’s easier to blame it on racism than to accept that even in a society that had not become more diverse and aware, you would be not as popular as you once were.
Seriously, the no options for 52 year old
men is the tell. In the arts, that’s pretty much always been the case. You market yourself based on your potential, but at a certain point you have to prove that you can be successful. And if you don’t, the market moves on, looking at the 20 and 30 somethings and all their potential.
Well, he’s not irrelevant unfortunately. James Patterson still dominates the best-seller lists and does all these celebrity-author pairings like his Run, Rose, Run book with Dolly Parton and The President is Missing with Bill Clinton. Plus, he’s expanded into YA books. Wish he would go away but he’s not going anywhere soon.
Last I looked, he’d also done a couple of Nicholas Spark-type books. 🤮🤮🤮
So let me see if I have this right – Jeffrey Epstein, complete mystery man to all his friends (including James Patterson, if we’re reading between the lines) but Ghislaine Maxwell is a “filthy b”? How does that work? Both of those two are equally guilty of their decades of heinous crimes, but just she’s guilty and worthy of calling names? I never thought much of James Patterson, but now every time I hear of James Patterson, I’m going to be thinking “James Patterson is a pedophile.”
Also, won’t someone think of the White men, ever? Yeah, they can still land jobs but now they have to compete with brown people AND women? What is the world coming to?! How can anyone be expected to tolerate this situation?! Even though the men are still paid more when they’re hired, how can such a horrible thing come to pass? Luckily, James Patterson (the man I suspect of being a pedophile) is on the side of the angels here! /s
Good lord. He doesn’t even write his own damn books.
Lol yeah, it’s brutal out there for wealthy white men.
Somebody on twitter said he has a bunch of ghostwriters writing his books. Maybe he should let them have an opportunity to become published authors instead of riding on their talent.
The VIDA Count—which tracked the table of contents for major publishing venues annually—collected data until fairly recently demonstrating that Patterson (I suspect knowingly) is absolutely full of crap. It is true that the spotlight VIDA pointed at publishers did much to get these literary outlets to address the outrageous bias they had (in which white straight men completely dominated the table of contents for both publications and books reviewed in major outlets). But if anything, publishers have begun to backslide again since the Count stopped coming out around 2018. Also worth noting, there’s hard sociological data that demonstrates if a man looks at a room that is populated with exactly half men and half women, most men observing that room will say the *majority* of people in that room are women. I don’t have data for the following, but I believe this bias likely holds for people of color or basically anyone “other” to white men. Unless they’re allowed to absolutely dominate, the majority of white men will believe they’re somehow oppressed. Speaking as someone who works in literary academia (where American writers earn part/most of their living) , the majority continue to be white men. AND they are STILL paid a higher salary than anyone else across the board. All of this is easily discovered data, James. You ridiculous knob.
Old cishet white men aren’t used to having to be exceptional to get opportunities. It’s like – this is our space and women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ people can have a small part of it if they are so insanely talented that they can’t be denied.
And it hasn’t even changed that much!
It’s like there’s two pathways to publishing. The cishet white dude path was clear and downhill. The path for women, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ was uphill and full of boulders and fallen trees.
Now the first path has a boulder or two on it requiring a fraction more talent and hard work to get past. Maybe the second path is little less steep, maybe a boulder or two have bee removed. But it’s still objectively more difficult navigate. And all a certain type of white cishet dude can see is that their path is a little harder and they can. Not. Deal.
Oh shut up you old POS !
This middle aged white man is worth 800 million.
He also stated that he was unhappy that staff at his publishing house staged a walk out in protest to Woody Allen’s book. he thought Allen should be able to tell “his side”. Between that and the Epstein crap, sure isn’t looking too good for this utter moron.
I read this as:
Manbaby protected from the realities of life can’t believe he has to face the realities of life. Proceeds to feel hard done by.
(Also: Never heard of him.)
No, Jimmy boy, it’s not that white men can’t get jobs anymore. You’re just seeing a decline in book sales because your books are written for and marketed towards men—and men read less than women.
You don’t meet many 52 year old white male writers in TV? AHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
He wants to sit in a writersroom in the UK. He’ll feel qwhite – at home. 🤣
Cry me a f-ing river.
Yeesh. He’s been in Palm Beach way too long. 🤮🤮 And he approaches writing fiction like books are a soulless ad project–it’s all about the glitzy premise and the hard sell.
“Harry has said at a certain point, ‘I can’t do this thing,’ and William has said, ‘I can do this thing.’”
Ugh. One shudders to think how he’ll portray Meghan and Kate.
Yes ofcourse. equality means oppression to White men. F*ck off with that sh*t. White men can’t stand the fact the world doesn’t cater to them anymore. About time. It’s still a long road, but I love that this old White dude is worried about it lol.
My mother is a big fan of his books, I’ve read a few and they are the same plot line over and over. His attempts to write for female lead characters are truly weak,
That said, it’s not oppression if people that don’t look, act or love like you get an equal shot.
It’s been all about MEEEEEE and others like me for years . It’s worked so well ( insert eye-roll) why can’t we continue like that ? ( stamps foot and walks away)
he’s not invited anywhere anymore ’cause of that frightful hair color…
There is absolutely no way in hell any relatively schooled person could look at history, global history, and say white racism with a straight face. We are right now, only right now, knee deep in an information age where most people across boards have voices. Young, old, rich, poor, all colors, all religions, we’re all discovering the pros and cons of living this way going forward working through the positives and negatives of having people and companies and governments answer for their actions and words. Multimillionaire old white guy sits in his mansion lamenting how hard life is for his ‘people’ is laughable and vomitous at the same time. He sounds extremely dumb. And I’m embarrassed how many Patterson novels I’ve read.
This reminds me of when my 72 year old white male boss said (in a very solemn and exasperated voice): look around you, white men are the minority – I am becoming the minority. I laughed and said: why yes you are! And thought: what are you scared of?????? If being the minority is no biggy, why are you scared?????
White men have always been dominant: they were the force behind eradicating many civilizations and peoples. They carved up Africa, Asia, North America, the Pacific, etc. Extermination and genocide are their goal. They stole people. They sold people. Testosterone combined with self-righteousness is poisoning the earth. I looked up his Net Worth: James Patterson is not far from becoming a billionaire.
He’s not only racist, he is sexist too. He notices it’s harder for an older person to get a job (truth), but he only references ‘older guys’. And I don’t think he is using guys generically for both men and women.
If you are a young white guy and you think you have less opportunity than your father did in his day, maybe it’s because women and POC were kept out of most careers.
Although Patterson probably believes women and POC’s are hired for a quota instead of possibly being the best candidates.
Is there a syndrome for people who are successful at one thing and think they are qualified to preach on any topic under the sun? James Patterson syndrome?
@Lizzie–J. D. Vance syndrome, Jeff Bezos syndrome…that’s a long-mug list…
In general, I won’t read modern fiction written by male authors any more. So much of it (and James Patterson is definitely on this list) is low-quality writing. When I read a work of fiction I want to get really caught up in it, I find with a lot of male authors I’m constantly noticing how choppy or awkward the writing is. Or the way women are presented/viewed is extremely off-putting (GRRM I’m looking at you). Not saying I would necessarily do loads better myself BUT…I am not a published author nor am I aspiring to be one. Obviously there are crap female authors out there as well, and some really good male writers also. But if I’m picking something up at random I find a book written by a woman is more likely to hold my interest.
How many 52yo women of any ethnicity are getting these writing jobs? What an idiot. I may have read some of his books in the past, but eh, I can live without them.
Here’s a thought, Patterson. You “write” a couple of dozen books a year. How about you retire and free up those publishing spots for someone else.
A writer on Twitter was explaining that his imprint, “Jimmy Patterson Books,” originally started out seeking and publishing underrepresented and marginalized writers, but then pivoted in late 2020 to focus solely on James Patterson’s books and collaborations. It’s sketchy.
Ha! I was wondering what happened with that. Thanks!
I’m glad I never read or bought any of his books. Dolly Parton should be more careful about the company she keeps.