Multi-millionaire airport thriller author James Patterson is currently on the New York Times bestseller list twice, once for a book he co-wrote with Dolly Parton and once for a book he co-wrote with Maxine Paetro, his usual co-writer. He’s also written two books with Bill Clinton. He is also, and this is perhaps his most important accolade: a victim of reverse racism.
And reverse sexism.
And regular ageism!
The 75-year-old Patterson recently spoke to The Times in advance of the release of his autobiography, James Patterson by James Patterson. He touched on his life as a writer who came up in advertising at the tail end of the “Mad Men” era, (bully for him, very sexy), before his talking points pivoted seemingly without prompt to how difficult it is for white men to “get writing gigs in film, theater, TV, or publishing” these days.
He says the problem is “just another form of racism.” “What’s that all about?” he asked. “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.”
Yes, you hate to see what’s happening to the white males these days, and in particular white males of the older variety. They’re out there in the street, fighting for scraps (12 writers room slots in streaming dramas) while the greedy fat cats with non-white male “identities” (eyeroll) chow down on what they seem to feel they are now “entitled” to (1-2 writers room slots in streaming dramas). And this is legal?
And to Patterson’s last point, I have to admit I’ve actually never even met a 52-year-old white male, let alone offered one a job. It’s embarrassing, but I have a stack of literature I’ve had recommended to me by various advocacy groups and I am going to educate myself.
As non-JP folks, we’ll never know what it’s like to experience life as an old white guy with an estimated net worth of $800 million. So please be kind. And if you hear of any opportunities (freelance, staff, copywriting??, anything really) hit him up.