Jann Wenner: Details About Emergency Meeting that Voted Him Off Rock Hall Board
Jann Wenner reportedly made a plea to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation during an emergency conference call following the backlash of his racist and sexist remarks to The New York Times.
Per Billboard, “An emergency meeting was called with the board’s high-profile music industry executives dialing in, as Wenner made a ‘self-serving’ and poorly articulated attempt to explain himself, according to a source.” (Note: Kudos to reporter Dave Brooks for saying Wenner “poorly articulated” himself during the emergency meeting. It was truly a delicious way to describe what happened considering Wenner’s comments.)
Billboard also reported the only board member to vote against ousting Wenner was Jon Landau. Landau, of course, is a noted Rolling Stone alum and Bruce Springsteen’s longtime manager.
Wenner has been music’s persona non grata since his interview with The New York Times was published on September 15.
Wenner spoke with The New York Times to promote his new book, The Masters. The book is a collection of interviews Wenner conducted with seven rock subjects. All seven subjects were white men.
When pressed on why he didn’t highlight any Black people or any women, Wenner said, in part, “The people had to meet a couple criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them. Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level.”
Wenner went on to namecheck the likes of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. However, he stuck to his “articulate” reasoning even with these beloved and respected music icons.
Three days after The New York Times interview was published, Rolling Stone issued a statement. The publication made sure to distance itself from both Wenner's comments and Wenner, himself. Rolling Stone condemned Wenner’s controversial remarks and noted he’s had nothing to do with the outlet since 2019. Additionally, RS said, “Our purpose, especially since his departure, has been to tell stories that reflect the diversity of voices and experiences that shape our world.”