Lenny Kravitz on Jann Wenner’s controversial comments: “It’s very disappointing and sad”

Lenny Kravitz is featured in the winter issue of Esquire magazine, where he shares his thoughts on the controversial comments made by Rolling Stone co-founder and former editor-in-chief Jann Wenner, which many deemed racist and misogynistic. 

While promoting his new book, The Masters, Wenner tried to explain why it didn’t include interviews with any Black or female artists; he said there were no women “articulate enough on this intellectual level.” Regarding Black artists, Wenner did acknowledge the genius of Stevie Wonder, but noted, “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.”

“It’s very disappointing and sad,” Kravitz said about the comments, which got Wenner kicked off the board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. “I’ve known Jann since 1987. I’ve been to his house. In his life. I was disappointed. I was very disappointed.”

“The statement alone, even if you just heard about the man yesterday, was appalling and embarrassing. And just wrong,” he added.

Kravitz, who’ll release the new album Blue Electric Light on March 15, also opened up about his early struggles to be taken seriously in the rock world.

“There was this one article that, at that time, said, ‘If Lenny Kravitz were white, he would be the next savior of rock ’n’ roll,’” he shared. “I got a lot of negativity thrown at me by all these older white men who weren’t going to let me have that position.” He said it was discouraging at times.

But those comments mean nothing to him now, with Kravitz noting, “I’m good. Intact—happy, healthy, focused, with still so much to do.”

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.