(Western Journal) One of the founders of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in 1983 has been “removed” from the organizations board of directors after comments about black and female performers he made in an interview published Friday.
Jann Wenner, who also co-founded Rolling Stone magazine in 1967, made the comments in an interview with The New York Times about his new book, “The Masters,” a collection of interviews Wenner conducted with household names like Bono, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen.
Wenner was asked why none of the interviews included in “The Masters” were women or people of color, and his response has been widely criticized as both racist and sexist, according to a separate article in the Times.
“Just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,” Wenner said of the women in rock and roll that he has known. He made a similar comment about black performers.
“Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right?” he told the Times. “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.”
“You know, 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,” he added. “Which, I get it. I had a chance to do that.”
Response to the comments was as quick as it was ugly.
Nothing in this interview surprises me. That does not make it any less enraging, disgusting, offensive, etc. This kind of thing was, in part, fuel for OPAL & NEV. https://t.co/HijelfBZez
— dawniewalton (@dawniewalton) September 15, 2023
Self-described “Black Gay Music Critic” Craig Seymour accused Rolling Stone, which Wenner sold in 2020, of being a an important part of “an oppressive system of value that Rolling Stone helped create and perpetuate.”
Since the advent of Rolling Stone, the entire commercial popular music industry has taken it seriously. This isn’t about individual tastes in music and reading. It’s about an oppressive system of value that Rolling Stone helped create and perpetuate. https://t.co/I5yP6Hfa93
— Craig Seymour, Black Gay Music Critic (@craigspoplife) September 17, 2023