(WISH) — Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has been removed from the Hall’s board after recent comments deemed offensive to black and female musicians.
Wenner attracted criticism doing publicity for his new book, “The Masters.” The book features interviews with a host of white, male musicians such as Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, and John Lennon.
When asked by the New York Times why he didn’t interview women or Black musicians, Wenner, 77, invited the questioner to “go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest.”
Speaking about Black artists, Wenner said they didn’t articulate the level of “masters.”
“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,” Wenner said.
In the interview, Wenner accepted he would face a backlash from the public. “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 said.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said in a statement on Saturday, “Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.”
Last year Rolling Stone published its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, ranking Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On,” as No. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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