In a recent interview with the New York Times to promote his book “The Masters”, Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone, made controversial comments about Black and female artists. He stated, “Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,” referring to the white, male artists he included in his book.
Wenner, who has not been actively involved with Rolling Stone for several years, has since apologized. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, he said in a statement: “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. 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.”
Rolling Stone has also distanced itself from Wenner’s comments, stating: “Jann Wenner’s recent statements to The New York Times do not represent the values and practices of today’s Rolling Stone. Jann Wenner has not been directly involved in our operations since 2019. Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world. At Rolling Stone’s core is the understanding that music above all can bring us together, not divide us.”