Jann Wenner “Sorry” For Controversial Remarks About Female & Black Artists After Being Removed From Hall Of Fame

After being removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Board, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner apologized for his racist comments when talking about his new book, The Masters. Having said that black and female artists were not “articulate” enough for him, Wenner’s remarks prompted intense backlash and accusations of being racist and a misogynist thrust at him.

Jann Wenner Apology: Addresses Problematic Statements

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The publisher of Jann Wenner’s book The Masters, issued a statement from the ex-board member late Saturday that read: “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.”

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 its 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 continued. Wenner concluded with:

“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.”

Jan Wenner
Source: Kevin Mazur / WireImage / Getty Images

Controversy: What racist remarks did Jann Wenner make?

After a New York Times interview about his book – which includes interviews with Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Jerry Garcia, and Pete Townsend – Wenner was kicked from of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation (which he co-founded). He basically told the outlet that he limited the book’s interviews to white men because “it just fell together that way,” unleashing a horde of criticism.

He then went on to say that none of the women he thought were “as articulate enough on this intellectual level.” Afterwards, he said that the people he interviewed were chosen based on his personal interests and admiration for them, and that they “were the kind of philosophers of rock.” Wenner similarly used the “articulate” argument to justify his decision to exclude Black artists.

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