Jann Wennerthe co-founder of rolling stone, it’s not such a good week. Although Wenner sold the publication to Penske Media as of 2017, he has remained a prominent voice in music media. On Friday, September 15, Wenner sat down for an interview with The New York Times‘ David Marchese on his next book The Masters. During the conversation, Wenner made what others consider to be insensitive comments about the contributions of both Black artists and women.
Apparently, Wenner’s remarks didn’t sit well with members of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Foundation. On Saturday September 16, the The New York Times confirmed that he had been formally removed from his position on the board of directors via a statement exclusively shared with the platform.
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony has been criticized for its lack of inclusion of black and female musicians. However, over the years, the team has worked to spotlight artists of different racial demographics and gender expressions. The class of 2023 includes Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Missy ElliottGeorge Michael, Willie Nelson, Rage Against the Machine and The Spinners.
Check out some excerpts from Wenner’s remarks that got him in hot water below:
It was pretty intuitive over the years; everything happened like that. People had to meet a few criteria, but that was just my personal interest and love for them. As far as women were concerned, none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level.
Joni [Mitchell] was not a rock’n’roll philosopher. In my opinion, she did not meet this test. Neither by her work, nor by the other interviews she has done. The people I interviewed were the kind of rock philosophers. Black artists – you know, Stevie Wonder, a genius, right? I guess when you use a word as broad as “masters,” the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just haven’t expressed themselves at that level.