'Rolling Stone' co-founder apologises for remarks on Black, female artistes


Wenner, who founded 'Rolling Stone' magazine and was a co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has been axed from the hall’s board of directors after denigrating Black and female musicians. Photo: AP

Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner was removed from his position on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's board of directors after comments he made about Black and female artists that were widely criticised, the hall said in a statement.

In a terse statement, the Cleveland-based Hall of Fame offered no reason for its move, saying, "Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation."

In an interview with the New York Times published last Friday about his upcoming book titled The Masters, which consists of seven interviews Wenner did over his career with musicians including Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan, he was pressed on why all seven interviews in the book were with white men.

Wenner, 77, said Black and female musicians were not "as articulate" as the others he chose to profile.

On women, he said, "Just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level."

"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."

He voiced awareness in the interview that his remarks would grate on some.

"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," said Wenner, who also co-founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

He later apologised for the remarks.

Rolling Stone became the leading music magazine of its time, later expanding into cultural affairs, conducting interviews of top politicians and fostering a style of "new journalism" that brought techniques of fiction writing to the reporting of stories.

Wenner could not immediately be reached for comment on his removal. - Reuters/AFP

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Rolling Stone , author , music , Jann Wenner


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