Openly gay Rolling Stone magazine founder Jann Wenner apologized for telling The New York Times that, for his book The Masters, he chose interviews with white male musicians who he called the "philosophers of rock" because Black and female musicians were not "articulate at that level," Deadline reported.
The apology took place hours after he was removed from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation's board of directors. (Wenner started the foundation.)
At one point during the original interview, he said, "The people had to meet a couple criteria, but it was just kind of my personal interest and love of them," he said, adding "Insofar as the women, just none of them were as articulate enough on this intellectual level."
Wenner also said, "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."
Per CNN, Wenner also stated, "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."
On Sept. 16, Wenner released a statement through The Masters publisher Little, Brown and Company, 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."
The Masters is slated to be released Sept. 26.
Wenner, 77, has been with partner Matt Nye since 1995.