Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner was condemned by his own outlet in a statement made by the publication on Monday.
In an interview with the New York Times released on Friday, Wenner discussed his new book “The Masters” which features interviews with seven iconic musicians. When pressed about why he only included conversations with White men, he suggested that Black or female musicians didn’t “articulate” enough for his personal interest.
“When I was referring to the zeitgeist, I was referring to Black performers, not to the female performers, OK? Just to get that accurate. The selection was not a deliberate selection. It was kind of intuitive over the years; it just fell together that way. The people had to meet a couple criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them. Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,” Wenner said.
After the comments went viral over the weekend, Rolling Stone made a comment distancing itself from Wenner.
“Jann Wenner’s recent statements to the New York Times do not represent the values and practices of today’s Rolling Stone,” the magazine wrote in a statement.
“Jann Wenner has not been directly involved in our operations since 2019,” the statement continued. “Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world. At Rolling Stone’s core is the understanding that music above all can bring us together, not divide us.”
The magazine’s statement followed the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announcing that it would remove Wenner from the board on Saturday.
“Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation,” the announcement read.
While the announcement did not reference Wenner’s remarks, Wenner apologized for his comments a few hours later.
“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,” he said in a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter.
“’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,” he added. “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.”
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