Jann Wenner, the co-founder of Rolling Stone, has been removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation's board of directors after receiving strong
criticism for remarks he made about Black and female musicians in a New York Times article published on Friday.
On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation told CNN that "Jann Wenner has been removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation's board of directors."
Wenner spoke with the Times about his new book, The Masters," which features interviews with legendary performers such as Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon that he conducted while heading Rolling Stone.
During the conversation, he discussed his decision to omit interviews with Black and female artists, and his opinions on the matter garnered strong criticism.
"The people had to meet a couple of criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them," he explained. "In terms of the women, none of them were as articulate on this intellectual level."
"Stevie Wonder, genius, right?" he added. When you use a broad term like'masters,' I believe the mistake is in using that word. Perhaps Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield? They simply did not articulate at that level."
"Perhaps, for the sake of public relations, I should have gone and found one Black and one woman artist to include here who didn't measure up to that same historical standard, just to avoid this kind of criticism," he justified his actions.
"Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, and I don't give a (expletive) about anything." In retrospect, I wish I could have interviewed Marvin Gaye. Perhaps he would have been the person.
If Otis Redding had lived, he might have been the guy." Wenner founded Rolling Stone magazine in 1967 with music writer Ralph J. Gleason. The venerable rock journal was put up for sale in 2017.