Avowed leftist and social justice warrior Jann Warner is under fire after controversial comments while doing publicity for his new book “The Masters.”
In the interview, Wenner explains why he chose seven white male musicians (Bono, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Pete Townshend) as the primary subjects of the book.
Asked why he didn’t interview women or Black musicians, Wenner responded: “It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest. You know, Joni (Mitchell) was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test,” he told the Times.
“Of Black artists — you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right? I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word. Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level,” Wenner said.
Wenner co-founded Rolling Stone magazine as well as co-founding the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
After the comments appeared in The Times, it was announced that he was removed from the hall’s board of directors, according to AP.
On Saturday, Wenner issued an apology through the book’s publisher saying, “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.”
Multiple sources tell Variety that Wenner’s ejection came on Saturday after a heated emergency conference call with board members — including veteran executives Irving Azoff and Doug Morris, YouTube Music chief Lyor Cohen, CAA head of music Rob Light and longtime Bruce Springsteen manager Jon Landau — in which Wenner attempted to make his case but ended up angering them instead with a “bad apology,” as described by Billboard. “He didn’t act sorry,” one source said. In the ensuing vote, sources say that only Landau — who launched his music career as a top Rolling Stone writer in the 1960s — did not vote to eject Wenner. Reps for several of the above execs did not respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
Wenner’s past is ripe with leftist propaganda. In 2012, Rolling Stone defended putting a glam photo of Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover claiming it was within its tradition of “serious and thoughtful coverage” of important cultural and political issues.
Wenner’s support of liberal causes and liberal politicians includes working closely with disgraced abuser Harvey Weinstein. In 2000, Wenner co-hosted an event with Weinstein for Al Gore’s presidential campaign.