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Jann Wenner Removed from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Board Following Controversial Interview

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Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, faced removal from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors in the wake of an alarming interview with the New York Times. The decision to unanimously remove him from the board was announced by the Rock Hall over the weekend.

Wenner’s controversial remarks were made during an interview where he discussed his new book, “The Masters,” featuring interviews with iconic musicians, all of whom were white males. When asked about the absence of women and Black artists in his book, Wenner’s responses garnered widespread criticism.

He commented, “It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest. You know, Joni [Mitchell] was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test. Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right? 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.”

Wenner later issued an apology through his publisher, Little, Brown and Company, acknowledging the offensiveness of his remarks and expressing regret for diminishing the contributions of Black and women artists.

Jann Wenner co-founded both Rolling Stone magazine and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Despite anticipating backlash, he seemed to realize the need for more diverse representation in his interviews. Nevertheless, his removal from the Rock Hall board signals a response to his controversial comments.

Written by:
Dana Sterling-Editor

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