John Mayer’s Interviewer Speaks to the L.A. Times

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, John Mayer is catching a lot of heat for some things he said in an interview with Playboy magazine. Things like the N-word and referring to his male member as “David Duke.”

Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times reached out to Rob Tannenbaum, Mayer’s interviewer, about the controversy, and how it reflects on racism in America. An excerpt of Tannenbaum’s response:

“Take away his use of the N-word, and you have a white musician commenting on the privilege of race, and warning other whites that they can’t ever presume to know racial disadvantage. Harry Allen, an accomplished black writer, described this on Twitter as a ‘powerful, pointed statement.'”

“How many white rock stars understand that, never mind declare it? He found a stupid way to make valuable points. If he’d just left out one forbidden word and an ill-advised reference to a white supremacist (who I don’t want to promote by naming), Mayer might be up for an NAACP Image Award.”