For a while, it appeared as if Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner would emerge from the #MeToo movement relatively unscathed. Despite having two accusations of sexual misconduct leveled against him, Wenner successfully negotiated acquisition of the magazine for $100 million, while ABC was planning to air a three-hour live broadcast commemorating its 50 year anniversary. But it appears #MeToo has officially caught up with Wenner.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC will no longer air the Rolling Stone special broadcast slated for February 7.
“Announced in May as part of its upfront presentation, the broadcast was scheduled to showcase live performances, short films, iconic onstage moments, never-before-seen musical pairings and stars who have helped to shape pop culture, music and politics over 50 years of the magazine,” reports THR. “Done + Dusted was set to produce the special. Rolling Stone‘s parent company Wenner Media was also set to produce, with Jann Wenner, Gus Wenner, Ian Stewart, David Jammy and Katy Mullan set to executive produce.”
Earlier in November, the openly gay Wenner stood accused of sexually harassing a male journalist in 2005. His accuser, Ben Ryan, claims the incident occurred during a meeting at Wenner’s Upper West Side townhouse. Later on in the meeting, when the two were seated on the couch, Ryan said Wenner made his move.
“I had Jann Wenner’s tongue in my mouth,” Ryan said. “I went along for a second but then said something to the effect of ‘Oh, please, I’m not that kind of girl.'”
Ryan made sure to note that Wenner “got very upset and was pseudo-threatening of how bad it could be if this got out.”
“All of a sudden I was the bad guy and I felt like I was in the hot seat and being grilled,” Ryan said.
When Ryan exited into the foyer, Wenner made him an offer: Stay, and I’ll give you a writing contract.
“I think there was that moment where it’s like time stood still, and you’re imagining how this could be the answer to all my struggles. All I would have to do is this one thing,” Ryan said. “But that’s not me. I would never do that.”
Wenner denied the allegation and it soon vanished in the firestorm of #MeToo accusations pouring out across the web. Then, in December, another former employee came forward to accuse Wenner of sexual misconduct, Jonathan Wells.
Speaking with Buzzfeed News, Wells claims that in 1983, Wenner pursued him forcefully after a night of drinking and cocaine.
“I was lying back and he put himself on top of me,” Wells told Buzzfeed. “He was kissing me, but you know, normal stuff, kissing my chest. I remember him putting his penis in my mouth. I remember him sucking me, going down on me. I remember his hair on my stomach.”
Wells immediately left after the encounter. Wenner maintains the encounter “was totally mutual and consensual — absolutely, and without question. I am saddened to hear this is his memory of that evening, because it is different than mine.”