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Rolling Stone Founder Removed from Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Board Over Controversial Comments

Added on September 18, 2023 inFree Celebrity News
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Legendary music journalist Jann Wenner was removed from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board of directors after making racist comments in an interview on Friday.

Rolling Stone Founder Removed from Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Board Over Controversial Comments

Rolling Stone Magazine co-founder Jann Wenner was removed from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s board of directors this weekend after he made disparaging comments about Black and female musicians. The 77-year-old co-founded the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame itself, and has been considered an iconic media figure for decades. In promoting his new book on the history of rock and roll music, he made some comments that had fans wondering how well he really understands the genre himself.

Wenner came under fire on Friday when The New York Times published an interview with him promoting his new book, The Masters: Conversations with Dylan, Lennon, Jagger, Townshend, Garcia, Bono, and Springsteen. As the title indicates, the book is made up mostly of interviews with Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Jerry Garcia, U2’s Bono and Bruce Springsteen. When the interviewer pointed out that these were all white men and questioned why Black artists and women didn’t count as “masters” in Wenner’s view, the editor was blunt.

“It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest,” he said. “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, Steve 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.”

Before the interview was even over, Wenner seemed to acknowledge that he would receive backlash for these comments, though played them off like a joke. He said: “Just for public relations sake, maybe I should have gone and found one Black and one woman artist to include here that didn’t measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism.”

As these comments made the rounds on social media and sparked outrage among music fans, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame dropped Wenner on Saturday. In a statement to The Associated Press, the hall said said only: “Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.”

Wenner issued an apology through his publisher, Little, Brown and Company that same day. He said: “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. I totally understand the inflammatory nature and badly chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”

As the apology indicates, many fans were specifically angry with Wenner for characterizing white men as the “masters” at a musical genre that was created and developed primarily by Black musicians. Additionally, many commenters found the term “inarticulate” in this context to be overtly racist. While Wenner will no longer work for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there’s no sign that the publication of his book will be impacted by this controversy. Wenner has not worked directly at Rolling Stone for several years now, so the magazine is not likely to be impacted.

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