Rolling Stone Founder Jann Wenner Booted from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Board of Directors
According to TMZ, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner has been officially voted off the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s board of directors. The removal comes after Wenner made insulting comments about Black people and women in music.
Wenner co-founded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1983 and was the organization’s chairman until 2020. Wenner’s comments came after a particularly disastrous interview with the New York Times, in which he was promoting his new book The Masters: Conversations with Dylan, Lennon, Jagger, Townshend, Garcia, Bono, and Springsteen.
The interviewer asked Wenner why the book did not feature any women, to which he replied:
“Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level. Joni [Mitchell] was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test. Not by her work, not by other interviews she did. The people I interviewed were the kind of philosophers of rock… 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.”
In the time since his firing, Wenner apologized:
“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. The Masters is a collection of interviews I’ve done over the years that seemed to me to best represent an idea of rock ‘n’ roll’s impact on my world; they were not meant to represent the whole of music and it’s diverse and important originators but to reflect the high points of my career and interviews I felt illustrated the breadth and experience in that career. They don’t reflect my appreciation and admiration for myriad totemic, world-changing artists whose music and ideas I revere and will celebrate and promote as long as I live. I totally understand the inflammatory nature of badly chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”
According to the TMZ article, Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau was the only dissenting vote for Wenner’s removal.