The controversial professor who drew ire of trans activists by refusing to use genderless pronouns is now making more than $50,000 US a month from his adoring fans.
In October of last year, Peterson—at the time an relatively unknown psychology professor—was thrust into the spotlight because of his refusal to use gender neutral pronouns for his students. This became a flashpoint in a debate about political correctness and Peterson rode the controversy to that of a very well paid star. Before courting controversy, Peterson was an accomplished academic—one that taught at Harvard before being granted tenure at the University of Toronto.
Since October though, Peterson has become one of the most well-known intellectuals in Canada—and, even, the world. While not forgetting about the gender pronoun debate—he testified before the Canadian senate against Bill C-16 which extends human rights protections for transgender Canadians on the federal level—Peterson has now moved into the world of criticizing all things politically correct, even appearing several times on Joe Rogan's incredibly popular podcast.
Due to his views, Peterson has been criticized as being transphobic but adamantly refutes those claims.
Now, less than a year since hitting fame, Peterson pulls in (at the time of writing) $51,135 from the crowdsourcing website Patreon which, as the Toronto Star reports, makes him the 32nd highest earner on the site. In April of this year, Peterson was denied research funding for the first time and the professor saw fans, which includes Canada's answer to Infowars, Rebel Media, launch crowdfunding campaigns on his behalf—raising almost $200,000.
On his Patreon page, Peterson states that he essentially wants to use this money to create an "accredited online humanities education to as many people as possible around the world."
"My colleagues and I (who include excellent engineers, programmers, financiers and educators) want to take the humanities back from the corrupt postmodernists, and offer education of the highest possible quality everywhere at 1/10 the price or less," the post reads.
He also states, in previous Patreon goal outlines, that he wants to use the money create an online lecture series (which he has been doing,) a letter database, a discussion series with Islamic moderates, and begin a weekly lecture series on the psychological significance of the stories in the Bible.
Peterson's Patreon account skyrocketed since the start of the year when he was earning a little over $10,000 a month. Subscribers on the educators YouTube account where he posts full-length lectures have also exploded going from practically nothing in mid-2016 to over 300,000—the videos on the channel have been viewed more than 15,000,000 times.
Patreon users can cancel at anytime so this amount isn't set in stone and could drop just as easily as it has risen. That said, pairing that with Peterson's yearly salary from the U of T ($161,635 CD) and frequent speaking gigs it's fair to say that Peterson is earning himself a pretty penny at the moment. Since he broke his goal of $45,000, Peterson has upped it to $100,000.
"Sky's the limit," reads the opening of his goal outline.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.