Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner was booted from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s board of directors on Saturday after disparaging Black and women artists.
His ouster was announced in a brief statement from the board that said simply, “Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.”
The move comes after Wenner sparked backlash in an interview promoting his upcoming book, The Masters, which consists of a collection of interviews with numerous rock and roll legends that all have one thing in common: they are white men. Wenner attempted to defend the exclusions of women and non-white artists in an interview with The New York Times, but he seemed to only dig himself deeper.
“Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,” he said. “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 went on to suggest that maybe he should have included a female and Black musician “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 told the Times.
Wenner was voted out by all current Hall of Fame members sans Jon Landau following Wenner’s comments to the Times, TMZ reported.