Rolling Stone Controversy: What Did Jann Wenner Say?

Jann Wenner
Jann Wenner Controversy (Credits: Gettty Images)

Want to know why there is a controversy regarding Rolling Stone? Well, the entire thing started with the co-founder of the magazine, who is none other than Jann Wenner. In a recent interview, he said some things about the role of Black and Female artists, and his opinion is not at all taken well by the public. What did he say?

Talking about Wenner, he is an American businessman and a media personality. He happens to be an important personality in the business world, and obviously, this is supported by his career, which includes him being the co-founder of the popular culture magazine Rolling Stone. This magazine was founded in 1967 and has been a constant in the industry ever since.

Jann Wenner is a University of California, Berkeley alum and the founder of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He held a powerful position at the Hall of Fame, and he holds a lot of power as well as acknowledgment in the music industry. However, his recent remarks have stirred up grievances from artists as well as the audience.

Due to his comments on black and female artists, a lot of sensitive topics, such as racism and sexism, including conventional gender roles, have become the talk of the industry. It is not surprising at all since a person in a position of power had said something, and it was only a matter of time before it became the talk of the town.

People are keen to know about this controversy. The question is, what did Jann Wenner say? Here’s what we know.

Jann Wenner
Jann Wenner Controversy (Credits: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Rolling Stone Controversy: Explained

Jann Wenner has recently authored a book called The Masters and is on a promotion tour for the same. And for those reasons, he had an interview scheduled with The New York Times, which was conducted by journalist David Marchese. It was this interview that sparked the controversy.

Jann Wenner’s book The Master contains interviews with seven Masters of Rock Music, according to him. These seven legends are quite some legendary and consist of Pete Townshend, Jagger, Bono, Jerry Garcia, Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, and Bob Dylan. The interviewer was confused regarding the fact that all seven artists were white men.

Jann Wenner did not include a black or female artist in these seven masters. The interesting thing is Wenner had quite a distinct answer to the query put forth by the interviewer. According to him, none of the female artists are articulate on an intellectual level. Does he stop here? No, he does not.

Wenner goes on to say that he did think of some late black artists but, in the end, decided against it due to the fact that he gave an upper hand to the intellectuality criteria. It is not a shocking fact that these statements weren’t appreciated by the audience. There are countless black and female artists who have made rock music what it is today.

Jann Wenner had to face consequences for his words. This proves that a pen is indeed mightier than a sword. He was kicked out of the board of directors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After this, he issued a public apology and emphasized the fact that his book does not speak for the whole industry, and he deeply appreciates and values other artists.

Jann Wenner
Jann Wenner Controversy (Credits: Jean Pigozzi)

Wenner’s words have forced us all to think about the reality of black and female artists in the industry. It is not easy for someone to make it big in the music industry, especially for black people and women, as they have often been the victim of discriminating royalties. The biased opinion of such a renowned person can have a deep impact on such artists.

We hope that Jann Wenner realizes the impact of his words and chooses them carefully the next time. No matter what his intentions were, Wenner has exhibited some issues of gender bias and racism. We aren’t able to put these issues behind us even after so many years of modern world and education.

We need to work harder as a society to erase these issues and create an inclusive space for everyone. We hope that this controversy gets resolved soon and doesn’t impact anyone, or any artist for that matter, in a negative way.