James Patterson’s personal imprint looks worse after reverse racism comments
Stepping off the heels of a high profile for the New Yorker who considered him “the best-selling author in the world”, James Patterson decided to tell the British press, The Sunday Timesthat white men experience “another form of racism” because he supposedly has trouble selling to publishers, as well as securing deals for adaptations of his work.
What is all this about? Can you get a job? Yes. Is it more difficult? Yes. It’s even harder for older writers. You don’t meet a lot of 52-year-old white men.
Maybe Patterson has recently made some high-profile Not Politically Correct™ podcast and comedian friends and knows about social mimicry, because that’s exactly what he sounds like. Also, he defended the memoir of an alleged pedophile (Woody Allen) in this interview, so, again, on the mark. Before specifically addressing his work, publishing and other media are still predominantly white. When I say publishing, I am talking about the editorial staff, the agents and the screenwriters, both independent and taken over by the major publishers. In fiction and non-fiction, regardless of genre or age group, publishing is dominated by white writers. Every year, Annenberg studies back up anecdotal evidence by showing that film and television are comparatively predominantly white, especially behind the scenes.
@whitbylibrary It’s not even half #jamespatterson #series #conspiracytiktok #librarytiktok #librariansoftiktok #booktok #library #librarian #fypシ #books ♬ original sound
Some jokingly called Patterson an “advertising executive” at this point because, for years, it was an open secret that he used ghostwriters. He now publishes nearly two books a month, in addition to speaking engagements and adaptation meetings. Even when he credits the writers on the cover, his name is the biggest, with a few exceptions like Dolly Parton. Although I’ve never seen his recommended books on TikTok, there’s a whole subgenre within a subgenre of librarians or major booksellers talking about the amount of Patterson’s books.
The Jimmy Footprint
Of the many conversations sparked by these exaggerated descriptors by an author whose entire career is built on word choice, the most interesting involves people looking back at his imprint activity. James “Reverse Racism” Patterson had his own imprint at Hachette called James Patterson Presents. In 2020, it restructured to include only books written or “written” by him. Now named Jimmy Patterson, many authors have been moved to another Hachette brand: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
This looks pretty bad in light of his recent comments:
I didn’t realize Patterson had done this with YA and children’s literature until a few weeks ago when I included Natasha Ngan Paper and fire girls on a list of Sapphic science fiction and fantasy novels. It can’t even be called “cashing in” for diversity because the original James Patterson Presents didn’t have a clear message for what set it apart from other imprints other than having it as a brand. This is, of course, unlike legendary mid-level writer and ally Rick Riordan. Rick Riordan Presents was intentionally designed to uplift marginalized writers and share folk tales from around the world.
While Patterson (or one of his writers) apologized on Twitterthe damage is already done, as his legacy is firmly tied to white supremacist myths of reverse racism.
(via Twitter, featured image: Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
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