Author James Patterson laments white male writers are facing racism -- and then receives immediate backlash

Bestselling author James Patterson, who currently ranks third on the list of richest — and most successful — authors of all time, caught heat after suggesting that white, male writers are struggling to find work during these trying times.

Patterson voiced his concerns during a Sunday interview with The Times, in which he asserted that white men are facing racism within the film, theater, TV and publishing industries.

″[It's] just another form of racism," Patterson said. "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."

It didn't take long for the "Alex Cross" author to garner backlash on social media, with critics highlighting his astounding wealth and sheer privilege as a white, male author in the publishing world.

"James Patterson, one of the richest authors in the world, thinks its hard for 52 year old white men to succeed," one commenter tweeted. "Because, as we all know, old white men are so poorly represented as writers in film, tv, theatre, and publishing."

Per a 2020 New York Times op-ed, 89% of books were written by white writers while a 11% were written by authors of color. And within the film industry, a 2022 Hollywood Diversity Report conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found that white, male directors continue to be an overwhelming majority throughout the years — in 2019, 85.6% of directors were white while 84.9% were male.

"Amending my previous quote to 'when you're accustomed to insane privilege, even slightly less insane privilege apparently feels like oppression. (It's still not.)," wrote American film executive Franklin Leonard.

"This is why the highest paid writer in the world is a Black woman, right? No? It's still James Patterson?" authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck – who collectively go by the pen name James S. A. Corey and are known for "The Expanse" novels – also wrote.

A separate user tweeted, "For anyone who doesn't know, James Patterson launched a children's imprint that published many diverse works, then up and decided one day it would only publish his own work. His whole 'white authors are suffering thing' comes after a 'I want to profit off diversity' thing."

In his interview, Patterson also blasted Hachette Book Group, the initial publisher of Woody Allen's 2020 memoir that backed out of the project in March of that same year after employees staged a walkout and Allen's estranged son, Ronan Farrow, also disapproved of the move. Allen's memoir, titled "Apropos of Nothing," was later published by Arcade Publishing.

"I hated that," Patterson said of the publishing house's decision. "He has the right to tell his own story."

He added: "I'm almost always on the side of free speech."

In addition to being one of the wealthiest authors, Patterson holds the record for the most New York Times best sellers. His most recent publication, "Run, Rose, Run: A Novel," was co-authored with Dolly Parton and tells the tale of a young singer-songwriter who is trying to escape her dark past.

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Harrowing Netflix documentary 'Our Father' links fertility fraudster to Christian Quiverfull movement

Netflix's latest documentary feature "Our Father" is an intricate real-life horror tale about fertility fraud that manages to grow more unsettling by the minute.

The harrowing investigation focuses on the misdeeds of disgraced fertility doctor Dr. Donald Cline, who artificially inseminated his own sperm into his female patients, without their knowledge or consent. During the 1980s, Cline was hailed as one of the best fertility doctors in Indianapolis, praised for his medical expertise and his endearing promise to give countless parents the gift of a child. The doctor's motives, however, proved to be more vile in nature after it was revealed that he had fathered 94 children and counting, all of whom are half-siblings.

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One of Cline's children, Jacoba Ballard, uncovered the truth when she grew suspicious of the doctor after taking a 23AndMe DNA test in search of possible half-siblings. At first there were just five siblings, which soon grew to 10, then 15 and finally, over 50 individuals. The documentary features just a handful of Ballard's half-siblings, including Julie Harmon (No. 14), Matt White (No. 17), Heather Woock (No. 22), Lisa Shepherd-Stidham (No. 33), Jason Hyatt (No. 48), Carrie Foster (No. 53) and Alison Kramer (No. 61).

The identities of all 90-plus children still remain a mystery — "Our Father" ends on a solemn note with Fox59 reporter Angela Ganote, who first covered the story, asking women who have consulted Dr. Cline in the past to urge their children to take a DNA test.

From Cline's disturbing insemination process to his possible ties with the Quiverfull movement, here are five horrifying revelations from the documentary:

1 The creepy first meeting between Cline and his "children"

When Ballard realized that her biological father was Cline, she consulted both Doug and Donna — two of the four children Cline had with his wife — to arrange a group meeting with their father and fellow half-siblings.

Ballard recalled the intensity of Cline's footsteps and the sound of his cane hitting the floor, which were menacing and foreboding. She said the doctor showed no visible emotion during the meeting and managed to stay calm and composed in the face of his children. The doctor also carried with him a gun, which Ballard claimed was an intimidation tactic.

She then said that Cline introduced himself and asked his children, who were all seated at a table, to each share their name, age and profession. "It was almost like he was ranking us," Ballard stated. "Like, 'Let me see which one of my offspring made it to the top.' I felt like we were being judged."

Ballard noted that some of her half-siblings suffered from auto-immune disorders, so she asked Cline for his detailed medical history. The doctor, however, dismissed her request and asserted that there was nothing to worry about.

Things quickly became heated when Cline offered Ballard a piece of paper that contained scripture from Jeremiah 1:5 to help her cope with the news. She declined the so-called "gift," angrily telling Cline, "You're not gonna use my God to justify your actions."

When asked why he used his own sperm in his patients, Cline said he was only trying to help desperate mothers and families. He then reassured his children that there were only 15 siblings in total, no more than that.

2 Liz White's story

White, the mother of Ballard's fellow half-sibling Matt White, visited Cline's office frequently when she was trying for a child despite her struggles with infertility. White noted that Cline was always alone in his office, whether it was during the weekend or during the week or during midday or late evening. She would wait in one room, where she undressed and prepared for her appointment in private, while Cline went to his office to gather her donor sperm samples — or so she thought. Years later, White learned that Cline spent that time masturbating and placing his own sperm into a syringe, which was then inserted into White during her procedure.

"When Matt's DNA test came back, my first words were, 'I was raped 15 times and didn't even know it,'" she said tearfully.

3 Cline's alleged threats and secret attacks

As Cline's story garnered increased attention from local news outlets, the doctor grew fearful of losing his marriage and tainting his relationship with the church, thus prompting him to threaten and harass his children over the phone. They also suspected Cline of committing a slew of strange attacks, even though they never caught him in the act.

In one instance, the lug nuts from all four tires of Ballard's car were removed and missing. In another, Harmon's computer was hacked and her files and emails on Cline were erased. And for Woock, the designated 22nd sibling received harassing phone calls from the cemetery, asking her if she wanted to purchase a plot for her to be buried in.

"I think it was to rattle me. To re-traumatize me so that I would be quiet," Woock claimed. "I don't think he wanted any of us to talk publicly if he could help it."

4 Cline's obsession with a higher calling

Cline grew increasingly religious following a brutal car accident, in which he ran over and killed a young girl. According to Ballard, that moment encouraged Cline to change his life and devote himself entirely to God.

"Maybe he thought that this was his way of giving back, that he took a life that really wasn't his fault," said Mark Farber, Cline's former colleague, of the doctor's medical crimes. "Now, he was going to give back. Maybe that was a psychological process going through his mind. But it doesn't really matter because that should not have been a way that he was trying to make amends."

Cline's office was also littered with Christian sayings, such as, "If you want to get to Heaven, you need to be Christian." The doctor also served as an elder of the Church and hosted baptisms at his home swimming pool.

5 Cline's possible ties to the Quiverfull movement

Many of Cline's children also believed he was part of the Quiverfull movement, a fundamentalist subculture of conservative Christians who denounce contraception, abortion and sterilization but laud widespread procreation. The Duggars, of TLC show "19 Kids and Counting" fame, is probably the most well-known family that follows a Quiverfull-like lifestyle.

The children first suspected the doctor's affiliation after Ballard received an email from an unnamed individual with a Quiverfull domain name. They also found that the Quiverfull website heavily quoted Jeremiah 1:5, which says "Before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you." The scripture, which is found at the opening of the documentary, was also found in Cline's office and previously given to Ballard when they first met in person.

Additionally, it is believed that the Quiverfull movement advocates for more white children to help uphold white supremacy ideals and preserve the white race over others. In an emotional moment from the documentary, the children acknowledge their glaring Aryan-like similarities — they are all white and have both blonde hair and blue eyes.

"Our Father" is currently streaming on Netflix. Watch a trailer for it below, via YouTube.

Our Father | Official Trailer | Netflix

Meghan McCain’s latest book 'Bad Republican: A Memoir' is a massive flop

Meghan McCain's familial ties and past experience as a controversial television personality weren't enough to help boost the sales of her recent memoir.

The former "The View" co-host released the hardcover edition of her book "Bad Republican: A Memoir" on April 26 after publishing it as an audiobook on Audible last autumn. But per MSN, the book has so far been a dud, in its opening week selling only . . . 244 total copies. As of Saturday, the book managed to sell a measly average of about 22 copies per day, according to Uproxx.

The book's Amazon listing explains that McCain's latest release tells a personal story "of growing up the daughter of an American icon who shaped her life and details the heartbreaking final moments spent by his side." There are chapters on McCain's dating life in New York and snippets of her love story with now-husband Ben Domenech. We also learn more about her "views on cancel culture and internet trolls as well as life backstage as the sole Republican at America's most-watched daytime talk show — and why she decided to leave."

McCain formally left "The View" on July 1 of last year, later telling Variety that the show's environment was "unhinged and disorganized and rowdy." "For me personally, it felt extremely isolating because of my political ideology. I was the only conservative on the show," she said. "The third year, they ended up hiring a producer for me who was also conservative."

She added that an on-air squabble with co-host Joy Behar also led to her eventual departure. "I didn't know I was going to leave until my second day back from maternity leave when Joy told me that 'Nobody missed me — zero.' That was the day I decided," she stated.

In September 2021, McCain became an opinion columnist for the British tabloid Daily Mail where she writes about everything from American politics to pop culture.

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Here's how Stacey Abrams scored 'Star Trek' role as leader of United Earth as she runs for governor

It looks like Stacey Abrams beat Pete Davidson to space. The politician, romance novelist, voting rights activist and yes, Trekkie, makes an unexpected cameo in the season 4 finale of "Star Trek: Discovery" now streaming on Paramount+.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

In the series, United Earth had seceded from the galactic United Federation of Planets following the catastrophic event known as The Burn that spanned the galaxy. But after Capt. Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her crew saves the Federation from total obliteration, the president of United Earth makes their way to the Starfleet starbase and requests to rejoin the union.

That president? Abrams, of course.

"We knew, coming into season 3, that bringing the Federation back together again would be a two-season arc," the show's executive producer Michelle Paradise told IndieWire. "And in the third episode of season 3, we go to Earth and we find out that Earth is no longer a member. So we were teeing up that Earth equals the Federation coming back together again. So we knew that, by the end of season 4, we would need to focus on Earth.

"And as we got into season four and got halfway through breaking it, we realized: We need a person to represent Earth," she continued. "And then the question became: who should that person be? I don't remember where the idea came from, honestly. But I texted Alex to say, 'What do you think of Stacey Abrams?' Immediately, [he sent] exclamation points."

Paradise and fellow "Discovery" executive producer Alex Kurtzman then arranged a Zoom meeting with Abrams to discuss her character and explain her significance in the season. When the pair offered Abrams the role, she immediately said yes and travelled to the show's Toronto soundstages to film her scene.

Abrams has been a longtime "Star Trek" fan, which makes her recent appearance all the more special. She previously co-hosted "Trek the Vote to Victory," a themed campaign event for Joe Biden in 2020, alongside Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang. The event also featured some of the franchise's most notable stars, including Sir Patrick Stewart, LeVar Burton and George Takei. And in a 2019 interview with The New York Times, the self-described Trekkie revealed she's a huge fan of the "Star Trek: Voyager" episode "Shattered" and its leading lady, Kate Mulgrew's Captain Janeway.

"We never wanted it to be a cameo — it was a proper role," Paradise said about Abrams' performance. "There's just something that made us think, 'Well, of course she can do it.' And she did. She just blew us away."

Other notable "Star Trek" guest stars include Gabrielle Union, Stephen Hawking, Dwayne Johnson and Sarah Silverman. At this time, it's unclear if Abrams will reprise her role or make an appearance in other franchise productions. Her hands are quite full with her political career; Abrams is currently running for governor in Georgia.

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Spotify quietly removes several Alex Jones episodes that have been mysteriously uploaded recently

A few weeks after Spotify proclaimed that "canceling voices is a slippery slope" in a statement, the platform is proving its inability to enforce its own rules with another troubling case.

On Thursday, Variety reported that Spotify had removed several episodes of "The Alex Jones Show," a far-right radio show hosted by infamous conspiracy theorist and Infowars founder Alex Jones, after the left-leaning non-profit organization Media Matters for America discovered the uploads with a simple search. Since Feb. 20 of this year, full-length episodes of the podcast had been mysteriously uploaded daily to Spotify, even though his show is no longer allowed on the platform.

Jones had been banned from Spotify in 2018 over community guidelines violations, which included glorifying violence and promoting hate speech.

At this time, it's unclear who uploaded the episodes. According to Spotify, uploading content, whether it's music, audio podcasts or video podcasts, is free to all users but must be reviewed by human moderators before publishing.

The news comes on the heels of Spotify's controversy with Joe Rogan's podcast "The Joe Rogan Experience." The platform pulled 71 episodes of the podcast due to "racially insensitive language" shortly after an edited video compilation showed Rogan using the N-word approximately "two dozen times." Spotify, however, failed to remove a separate episode on COVID-19 vaccines, which garnered criticism from health officials for its promotion of misinformation.

The platform also failed to remove an October 2020 episode that focuses on the pandemic and features Jones as a guest, who used the opportunity to scoff at the use of masks, which he claimed doesn't offer protection against COVID-19 according to "a lot of studies." He also deemed the pandemic a hoax and falsely claimed that an oral vaccine funded by Bill Gates caused polio.

Despite the numerous claims of misinformation, Spotify stood by Rogan, asserting that silencing him was not the ultimate solution. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek proposed adding more diverse voices to the platform in an effort to mask Rogan's harmful rhetoric.

"If we believe in having an open platform as a core value of the company, then we must also believe in elevating all types of creators, including those from underrepresented communities and a diversity of backgrounds," Ek wrote. He also added that the company is "committing to an incremental investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups" as part of an effort to diversify Spotify's content.

"While some might want us to pursue a different path, I believe that more speech on more issues can be highly effective in improving the status quo and enhancing the conversation altogether," he continued.

Although episodes of "The Alex Jones Show" is no longer available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Facebook and YouTube, the podcast is still up on Google Podcasts.

Snoop Dogg sued for alleged sexual assault after he announced Death Row Records label acquisition

An anonymous woman filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against rapper Snoop Dogg and an associate of his, asserting that the pair sexually assaulted her back in 2013, TMZ first reported.

The woman, who is described as an actor, model and dancer, said the assault took place after she attended one of Snoop Dogg's show in Anaheim, California, on May 29. She claimed that Bishop Don "Magic" Juan, a former pimp and longtime associate of the rapper, offered her a ride home but instead, drove her to his place. She said that Juan later forced her to perform oral sex on him the following morning.

According to the lawsuit, Juan "discriminated against and harassed [her] because of [her] sex and gender."

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The woman then claimed that Juan took her to Snoop Dogg's studio the next day to see if the rapper would offer her a gig. She alleged that the rapper had also forced her into oral sex while she used his bathroom. The lawsuit claims that Snoop Dogg ultimately denied her a gig because she "refused to willingly and enthusiastically give oral sex."

The latest allegation arrived just a few hours after Snoop Dogg announced that he had acquired Death Row Records, the record label that launched his 1993 debut solo album "Doggystyle" and kickstarted his music career.

"I am thrilled and appreciative of the opportunity to acquire the iconic and culturally significant Death Row Records brand, which has immense untapped future value," the rapper said in a statement per CNN. "It feels good to have ownership of the label I was part of at the beginning of my career and as one of the founding members. This is an extremely meaningful moment for me."

Snoop Dogg is also slated to perform at the Super Bowl Halftime show on Sunday alongside Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige.

Here's the Four Seasons Total Landscaping documentary trailer you've been waiting for

At last, we get the first glimpse of MSNBC's highly anticipated "Four Seasons Total Documentary," in advance of the anniversary of the hallowed fiasco that started it all – when a botched reservation plagued a measly Philadelphia-based landscaping shop and inadvertently transformed it into a media spectacle.

The shop — Four Seasons Total Landscaping — first made headlines just four days after the 2020 presidential election. After a tweet and a series of calls involving Trump's legal team all went awry, the landscaping shop became the unlikely host of an infamous press conference moderated by the former president's attorney Rudy Giuliani. Four Seasons Total Landscaping has since become a sensation on social media and an inspiration for songs, spoofs and artwork.

Famously known for being sandwiched between an adult sex toy shop and a crematorium, the shop also capitalized off of its newfound fame with exclusive merchandise, a summer concert and a Super Bowl commercial.

"We got put into a corner and we used our humor to get us out of it," says a member of the shop in the film's trailer.

We also hear additional snippets of testimonials from the shop's workers and owners. In one instance, a shop worker is seen clearing the company landline phone's voicemail box, which has been flooded with thousands of messages regarding the press conference.

Clips of passionate crowds bearing Trump paraphernalia supplement screenshots of social media posts making a mockery of the event. A sitcom-like tune plays in the background of video footage of Giuliani gleefully commencing the press conference.

"Wow, what a beautiful day thank you," Giuliani says gamely in one scene. Indeed, it was.

"Four Seasons Total Documentary" premieres Sunday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. on MSNBC. Watch the trailer for it below via YouTube.

Four Seasons Total Documentary | Official Trailer