In a recent New York Times interview promoting his book The Masters, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner said some problematic things about Black and female artists. One pull-quote, for example, reads, “Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level,” having said that in relation to the white, male artists he included in his book.
Now, Wenner, who hasn’t been directly involved with Rolling Stone for a few years now, offered an apology, saying in a statement (as The Hollywood Reporter notes):
“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 it’s 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 recently distanced itself from Wenner’s comments, saying in a statement, “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.”