“In an interview with The Sunday Times, author James Patterson lamented the struggle he says white men now face finding writing jobs in film, theater, TV, and publishing industries. He called it ‘just another form of racism’ … ‘What’s that all about?’ Patterson asked rhetorically. ‘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.’”
— Deadline, 6/13/22
When I started out in publishing, it used to be that every person I met, apart from the lady who got my coffee, was a white man. Those were truly wonderful days, when Norman Mailer could talk about how rape was good for a man’s soul and J.D. Salinger could stalk teenage girls.
Now, all that has changed. You don’t meet many 52-year-old white male authors anymore, or even white writers in general, who altogether make up a mere 75 percent of the publishing industry. It’s sad.
White male writers are oppressed, but it wasn’t always this way. I remember when Saul Bellow and John Updike could write exhaustively about women’s breasts, and everyone would throw literary prizes at them.
And it just keeps getting worse. The number of Jonathans alone has plummeted in recent years among novelists, not to mention the Johns and James’s that used to fill all the shelves and still mostly do, just not as overwhelmingly as one might hope.
Life and literature were better when Charles Bukowski, Phillip Roth, and Vladimir Nabakov were considered multicultural writers. Was it better before Kate Millet got through with Henry Miller? You bet your bottom dollar it was, and I should know about dollars because I receive $150 million in advances for my books.
Look — Woody Allen has the right to tell his story just like anyone else, and by “right to tell his story,” I mean he deserves the kind of lucrative publishing deal that most writers can only dream about, and few writers of color ever actually get.
It’s funny. A lady on the internet once told me that equality feels like oppression, but that doesn’t ring true since only 89% of books published in 2018 were written by white authors. That’s not even close to equal.
Do men earn more money than women in this and nearly every other industry? Yes. Do Black writers earn less than their white counterparts? Also yes. But these details will be scant comfort for the many white men who can no longer write whatever they want and be paid handsomely for it.
You see, to me, equality means not having to face competition from people who don’t look, sound, and think exactly like me. Wasn’t it enough when Gore Vidal and William Buckley used to bitch at each other in front of large audiences? Why would anyone need more diversity of opinion than that?
The worst part is that I’ll probably get canceled for saying all this because people are so sensitive these days, and life isn’t fair anymore for white men. And by “canceled,” I mean that some people will criticize me on Twitter, and I’ll face zero other consequences. I’ll also probably get invited on Joe Rogan’s podcast to discuss being victimized.
Anyway, I’d better get some “writing” done — if I can manage to get my mind off the discrimination that we white guy authors face every day. We really are the heroes of every story, which reminds me of the plot of my next book. I just got a sickly gargantuan advance for it, and I don’t even have to write the thing. Our struggle never ends.