Fallout: ABC Abruptly Cancels Special After Rolling Stone Founder Is Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Rolling Stone Founder Jann Wenner and Spotify Founder and CEO Daniel Ek attendsSpotify knocks it out of the park at Stephen Weiss Studio on November 30, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/Getty Images for Spotify)
Charles Eshelman/Getty Images for Spotify

ABC has abruptly canceled a planned special intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone. This comes in the wake of two accusations of sexual misconduct against the left-wing magazine’s founder, Jann Wenner.

This three-hour extravaganza was scheduled for broadcast in a little over month, on February 7. This means an awful lot of work and money have already been poured into a project that ABC announced all the way back in May, during the network’s big upfront presentation to advertisers.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the special promised to include “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.”

Even before the latest misconduct allegations, Rolling Stone was teetering due to its debacle of a story involving a campus gang rape that was so poorly reported the left-wing Washington Post debunked it. Rolling Stone ended up settling the lawsuits that followed.

On top of that, the progressive magazine turned one of the Boston Marathon terrorists into a glamorous cover boy, and its star writer, the disgraced Matt Taibbi, has been exposed as either a misogynist monster or a fabulist who publishes memoirs with the assurance that “all of the characters and events depicted in this book are real,” when they are not.

Back in November, freelance writer Ben Ryan accused Wenner of demanding sex in exchange for a lucrative contract. Last week, Jonathan Wells accused Wenner of sexual assault and further alleged he was fired after rebuffing Wenner’s advances.

In both cases, Wenner has denied any wrongdoing.

Last month, through his company, Wenner sold his controlling stake in his publication to Penske Media.

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