Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images
Jann Wenner at the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony in New York City.
Jan Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine was removed from the board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation after facing widespread criticism for comments he made in the New York Times. Conversation Posted on Friday about female and black musicians.
“Jann Wenner has been removed from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s board of directors,” a representative of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation told CNN in a statement Sunday.
Wenner spoke to the Times about his upcoming book, “The Masters,” which includes interviews he conducted with artists such as John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and others while at the helm of Rolling Stone.
In the interview, he spoke about his decision not to include interviews with women and black artists, and his remarks on the subject were widely criticized.
“People had to meet several criteria, but it was just my personal interest and love for them,” he said, adding: “As for the women, none of them were articulate enough at that intellectual level.”
He continued: “Stevie Wonder, genius, right? I suppose when you use a word as broad as “masters” the error is in the use of that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they didn’t express themselves at that level.”
“In the interest of public relations, maybe I should have gone and found one black artist and one female artist to include here who didn’t meet the same historical standard, just to prevent that kind of criticism,” he told the paper. “Maybe I’m old fashioned and I don’t give a (expletive) or whatever. I wish I could interview Marvin Gaye in retrospect. Maybe it would be him. Maybe if he had lived, Otis Redding would have been that guy.”
On Saturday, Wenner released a statement through Little, Brown and Company, the publisher of “The Masters,” saying, “In my interview with The New York Times, I made comments that diminished the contribution, genius, and impact of black and female artists and myself. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for these remarks.”
“The Masters” is a collection of interviews I’ve done over the years that I felt best represented the idea of rock’n’roll’s impact on my world; they weren’t meant to represent all of music and its diverse and important creators, but to reflect highlights of my career and interviews that I felt illustrated the breadth and experience in that career. They do not reflect my appreciation and admiration for the countless totemic, world-changing artists whose music and ideas I respect and will celebrate and support as long as I live. I fully understand the offensive nature of the ill-chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”
CNN has reached out to Little, Brown and Company for comment.
Wenner founded Rolling Stone magazine with music critic Ralph J. Gleason in 1967 and put the legendary rock magazine up for sale in 2017. listed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as an individual in 2004 and is a co-founder the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
“The Masters” is scheduled for release on September 26.