Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone, has been put off from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation’s board after receiving harsh criticism for remarks he made regarding Black and female musicians in an interview with the New York Times that was published on Friday.
A spokesperson for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation informed CNN on Sunday that "Jann Wenner has been removed from the board of directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation."
Wenner spoke to the Times about his new book, The Masters," which includes interviews he conducted with famous musicians like Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon while running Rolling Stone.
He discussed his choice to exclude interviews with Black and female artists during the interview, and his comments on the subject drew harsh criticism.
“The people had to meet a couple criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them,” he said, continuing “Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level.”
He added, “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.”
“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 defended his actions.
“Maybe I’m old-fashioned and I don’t give a (expletive) or whatever. I wish in retrospect I could have interviewed Marvin Gaye. Maybe he’d have been the guy. Maybe Otis Redding, had he lived, would have been the guy.”
Together with music writer Ralph J. Gleason, Wenner started Rolling Stone magazine in 1967. In 2017, the venerable rock publication was placed up for sale.
In addition to being a co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, he was personally inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Masters is slated for release on September 26.
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