Jann Wenner ruled over the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for decades. And with it came an immense power as the gatekeeper of the American popular music world. He also founded and edited Rolling Stone Magazine. But all that vanished with one line of disparaging comment.
For long Jann Wenner used his influence to include and leave out artists and openly flaunted his iron grip over the institution. But it all crashed down as he was booted out of the foundation board. The ouster came a day after he made remarks disparaging black and female artists. The comments were severely criticized as being misogynistic and racist.
It was a steep fall for a man who both boosted or diminished careers according to his whims. Jann Wenner’s behavior and acts led to growing differences with members. They desperately tried to change the growing perception that he and the organization he helped set up, had failed miserably to include colored and women artists in its fold.
Jann Wenner Viewed Black And Women Artists Not Articulate At An Intellectual Level
In a recent interview, Jann Wenner revealed the dark side when he admitted that he considered Black and women artists not suitably articulate at an intellectual level to be included in his book on great musicians. He further added that he did not view them as philosophers of rock. Jann Wenner later tried to backtrack from his comments and said that he should have included Black and women musicians to avert just such type of criticism. But he also was defiant and said that he did not care about what others said.
Members of the board immediately realized the implication of his damage and tried to minimize it. The board members include leading executives from the media and music industry. Former Spotify executive Troy Carter said that Jann Wenner had undermined the institution he helped create by propagating an exclusionary and narrow narrative. Jann Wenner tried to set the record straight at the board meeting, but the assembled directors were not swayed. It took 20 minutes to decide, and he had to step down.