We, the members of Living Colour, would like to address Jann Wenner’s recent apology for controversial statements made in support of his new book.
The very idea of a book called “The Masters“, which blatantly omits the essential contributions of black, people of color and women to Rock & Pop Culture speaks to a much larger and more systemic problem. His New York Times interview statement that African American and female artists are not “articulate” enough to express themselves about their own work is absurd on its face.
For someone who has chronicled the musical landscape for over 50 years, it is an insult to those of us who sit at the feet of these overlooked geniuses. To hear that he believes Stevie Wonder isn't articulate enough to express his thoughts on any given subject is quite frankly, insulting. To hear that Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Tina Turner, or any of the many Woman artists that he chooses not to mention, are not worthy of the status of “Master“, smacks of sexist gatekeeping and exclusionary behavior.
Mr. Wenner’s apology only solidifies the idea. That his book is a reflection of his worldview suggests that it is narrow & small indeed