Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone, sold the magazine to Penske Media for over $100 million in 2017. That same year, he faced sexual assault allegations from former employees. Recently, Wenner authored a book titled The Masters, set to be published later this month.
In a recent interview with The New York Times that has since gone viral, Wenner awkwardly explained why The Masters, a compilation of interviews with notable rock figures, predominantly features white men. When asked by David Marchese why performers of color and women were not included in his book, Wenner responded by saying that the selection was not deliberate but rather intuitive over the years.
He clarified that his reference to the zeitgeist was about Black performers, not female ones. He also suggested that none of the women were articulate enough on an intellectual level to be included. He further claimed that artists like Joni Mitchell did not meet his criteria of being philosophers of rock.
Wenner’s comments have sparked a significant reaction on social media. For more on his views, read the full interview here.