Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner removed from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board over ‘The Masters’ comments

Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner has been removed from the board of the Rock & Roll of Fame, a rep for The Hall tells The New York Times. Wenner’s removal comes in response to comments he made in a Times interview that were deemed racist and sexist.  

While promoting his new book The Masters, Wenner tried to explain why it didn’t include interviews with any Black or female artists, saying there were no women “articulate enough on this intellectual level.” Regarding Black artists, he acknowledged the genius of Stevie Wonder, but noted, “I suppose 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 didn’t articulate at that level.”

After receiving a ton of backlash online, Wenner issued an apology. “In my interview with The New York Times I made comments that diminished the contributions, genius and impact of Black and women artists and I apologize wholeheartedly for those remarks,” read the statement issued by his publisher Little, Brown and Company, adding the artists featured in the book, “were not meant to represent the whole of music and its diverse and important originators but to reflect the high points of my career and interviews.”

He notes, “I totally understand the inflammatory nature of badly chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”

Wenner was part of a group that founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1983. Although there has been an improvement in recent years, the Hall has often been called out for its lack of female and minority inductees.

His book, The Masters, featuring interviews with Bob DylanJohn LennonMick JaggerPete TownshendJerry GarciaBono and Bruce Springsteen, comes out September 26.

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