Jann Wenner Removed from Rock & Roll
Jann Wenner Removed from Rock & Roll

Jann Wenner Removed from Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Board for Controversial Comments

Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine and a co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has been ousted from the hall’s board of directors following remarks that were criticized as disparaging towards Black and female musicians. This move came swiftly after an interview with Wenner was published by The New York Times.

Wenner, aged 77, has been making headlines due to the promotion of his new book, “The Masters,” which includes interviews with iconic musicians like Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, and U2’s Bono – all of whom are white males.

In the interview, Wenner was questioned about the absence of interviews with women or Black musicians in his book. He responded by saying, “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.” When asked about Black artists, Wenner commented, “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.”

These remarks sparked outrage and controversy in the music industry and beyond, leading to his removal from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s board of directors.

Late on Saturday, Wenner issued an apology through his book publisher, Little, Brown and Company, stating that he apologized “wholeheartedly for those remarks.” He clarified that his book was a collection of interviews representing the highlights of his career and did not reflect his appreciation and admiration for the many influential artists, regardless of gender or race.

Jann Wenner’s career has been intertwined with the world of music and media. He co-founded Rolling Stone in 1967 and played a pivotal role in its editorial direction until 2019. Additionally, he was instrumental in establishing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, which now serves as a celebration of the most influential figures in the music industry.

In the interview, Wenner seemed to anticipate the backlash, saying, “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.”

It’s essential to note that Rolling Stone magazine, under Wenner’s leadership, has recognized and celebrated the contributions of Black and female musicians. Last year, the magazine published its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” where Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Joni Mitchell’s “Blue,” Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life,” Prince and the Revolution’s “Purple Rain,” and Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” all received top rankings.

Jann Wenner’s influence has been far-reaching, with Rolling Stone magazine becoming a prominent voice in music and culture, known for its combination of authoritative music coverage and investigative reporting. However, his recent comments and subsequent removal from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board have underscored the importance of recognizing and celebrating diversity and inclusion in the music industry.

In Summary

Jann Wenner’s removal from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame board serves as a stark reminder that inclusivity and respect for diversity are values that must be upheld, even within the realm of rock and roll. Music, at its core, is a universal language that transcends boundaries, and it is imperative that it continues to reflect the richness and diversity of the world in which we live.

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Francis Castro writes related to the Trending News Category. She manages to cover anything. Francis is our freelance contributor. Francis is responsible for covering reporting in Trending finance and business categories. Francis has experience of 5 years as reporter to Trending News insights.

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