Co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame removed from Board for disparaging comments about Black, female artists

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 11:58 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has removed Jann Wenner, one of its co-founders, from the Board of Directors.

This comes after Wenner disparaged Black and female artists in a New York Times interview, saying they are not as articulate as those he chose to profile.

The 77-year-old Wenner, who is also the co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, was asked about his upcoming book “The Masters” and why he decided to do all seven of his interviews with white male artists like Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan.

Wenner responded by saying, “For public relations sake, maybe I should have gone and found one Black and one woman artist to include here that didn’t measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism.”

Visitors to the Rock Hall interviewed by 19 News appeared to have no tolerance for what they call racist and sexist comments.

Brent Manley of Akron said, “You know what I think there’s no place in society for racist comments like that. I believe all of our music from all of our genres hits every spectrum - Black, white, any race.”

Peter Leikpold who traveled from Australia to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame told 19 News, “I think everyone’s equal and they should be allowed to talk and share what they can do. What they can achieve.”

Susan Sherill of Columbiana, Ohio said, “I don’t think anybody should be racist. I mean that’s my opinion you know -- nobody should say anything racial about anybody because you know that God created us all equally, and to me there is no Black, white, or yellow skin. As far as I’m concerned, you’re my sister.”

Wenner who seemed to acknowledge he would face backlash for his comments, later apologized for the remarks.