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Jann Wenner Issues Apology After Being Removed From Rock & Rock Hall Of Fame Board

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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) – Jann Wenner has apologized for his comments in a New York Times interview in which Wenner was talking about his decades-long career and promoting his new book titled The Masters. It contains interviews with rock icons like Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Bono – all white and all male.
In the interview, David Marchese of The Times asked Wenner, 77, why the book didn’t include women or people of color. Wenner responded, “Just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level while also stating that Joni Mitchell “was not a philosopher of rock’n’ roll.”
His answer about people of color came next with Wenner saying, “Of Black artists – you know, Steve Wonder, genius, right? When you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word. Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level.”
The Rolling Stone magazine founder was promptly removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Board of Directors. According to Billboard nearly every board member on the call – including YouTube global head of music Lyor Cohen, music manager and executive Irving Azoff, former chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME) Doug Morris and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) managing partner Rob Light voted to drop Wenner. John Landau, a music manager and former critic was the only board member who voted in Wenner’s favor.
The foundation – which inducts artists into the hall of fame and was the organization behind the creation of its museum in Cleveland, issued a brief statement on Saturday (September 16).
“Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation,” a statement from a rep reads in full. CelebrityAccess has reached out to Joel Peresman, the president and CEO of the foundation, for further comment.
On Saturday (September 16), Wenner apologized through his publisher, Little, Brown and Company. You can take a look at the statement below.

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 represent best 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. 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.

Wenner founded Rolling Stone in 1967 with music critic Ralph J. Gleason and made it “the” music magazine of its time, covering rock music, politics and current events. Gleason passed away in 1975. Wenner sold the magazine in 2020 and officially left the publication in 2019. Last year, he published his memoir, Like a Rolling Stone.
Wenner was also part of a group of music and media executives that founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation in 1983, inducting its first class in 1986 with its affiliated Cleveland museum opening in 2005. Wenner was inducted into the Hall as a non-performer in 2004.
RIP.

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