Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner has been removed from his position on the board of directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. The news was announced on Saturday, after an interview with The New York Timeswhere he made widely criticized comments about black and female musicians, as well as revealing other questionable editorial decisions.
Wenner is promoting his book, Teachers, which features interviews with influential artists who are white and male, such as Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen; None of the featured artists are female or non-white. In the times In an interview with Wenner published Friday, he said that black musicians and women “were not articulate at the level” of white musicians in his tome.
On Saturday, a Rock Hall representative sent a statement to Rolling Stone: “Jann Wenner has been removed from the board of directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.” No explanation was given. A Rock Hall representative did not return immediately. Rolling StoneRequest for further comments.
Wenner co-founded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fameopened in 1987. He was president until 2020. Wenner is not on the affiliated museum’s board of directors.
In the interview with the times‘ David Marchese, Wenner was asked about the exclusion of people of color or female artists.
“It’s not that they aren’t creative geniuses. It’s not that they aren’t articulate, even if you have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please be my guest. You know, Joni. [Mitchell] “He wasn’t a rock ‘n’ roll philosopher,” Wenner said. “In my opinion, she did not pass that test. Not because of her work, nor because of other interviews she did. The people I interviewed were the kind of rock philosophers. From black artists, you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right? I guess when you use a word as broad as “teachers,” the mistake is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just weren’t articulate on that level.
“I mean, look what Pete Townshend was writing about, or Jagger, or any of them,” he continued. “It was profound stuff about a particular generation, a particular spirit and a particular attitude toward rock ‘n’ roll. “Not that the others weren’t, but these were the ones who could really articulate it.”
During the interview, she considered how she could have approached the book differently: “just for PR reasons, maybe I should have gone and found a black female artist and a female artist to include here who weren’t up to the same historical standard.” . , just to avoid this type of criticism. Which, I understand. I had the opportunity to do that. Maybe I’m old fashioned and I don’t give a damn [expletive] or whatever. I wish, in retrospect, I could have interviewed Marvin Gaye. Maybe he would have been the guy. Maybe Otis Redding, if he had lived, would have been the one.”
Beyond the controversial comments about the artists who appeared and did not appear in TeachersHe also revealed during the interview that he allowed interviewees to edit transcripts of his interviews before publication, which is not an accepted editorial practice and Rolling Stone does not allow interviewees to approve final transcripts or copies.
Wenner founded Rolling Stone in 1967 and remained its editor or editorial director until 2019. His son, Gus Wenner, is the magazine’s executive editor. Jann Wenner is editorial director of Wenner Media, in which PMC has a majority stake. PMC is the parent company of Rolling Stone.