John Wayne, pictured in 1966, gave a controversial interview with Playboy in 1971. (Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

‘John Wayne was not a racist,’ son says

Late actor John Wayne’s household is defending him amid requires his title and a statue of him to be faraway from a California airport.

The Democratic Occasion of Orange County on Friday handed a decision calling for the actor’s title and likeness to be faraway from the county’s John Wayne Airport. They cited his “white supremacist, anti-LGBT and anti-indigenous views,” and referred to as out a 1971 interview he did with Playboy.

“I believe in white supremacy,” Wayne advised the journal. “I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.” He used a homophobic slur and mentioned he didn’t really feel badly for land having been taken from Native Individuals.

On Monday, Wayne’s son Ethan Wayne launched an announcement to TMZ, by which he argued his father, who died in 1979 on the age of 72, was not a racist. Actually, the youthful Wayne mentioned that if the Shootist star have been alive, he would “be within the forefront demanding equity and justice for all individuals. He would have pulled these officers off of George Floyd, as a result of that was the precise factor to do.

John Wayne in 1970. (Martin Mills/Getty Photos)

Ethan mentioned his father shouldn’t be judged on a single interview and that “his true feelings were wrongly conveyed” within the journal. The reality, Ethan mentioned, is that his father didn’t assist white supremacy. He identified all the great the actor has performed by means of his charitable John Wayne Most cancers Basis.

The statue of the actor on the John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, Calif. (Mario Tama/Getty Photos)

The total assertion is beneath:

Let me make one factor clear — John Wayne was not a racist. I do know that time period is casually tossed round today, however I take it very severely. I additionally perceive how we bought thus far.

There isn’t any query that the phrases spoken by John Wayne in an interview 50 years in the past have triggered ache and anger. They pained him as properly, as he realized his true emotions have been wrongly conveyed. The reality is, as we’ve got seen in papers from his archives, he didn’t assist “white supremacy” in any approach and believed that accountable individuals ought to achieve energy with out using violence. Those that knew him, knew he judged everybody as a person and believed everybody deserved an equal alternative. He referred to as out bigotry when he noticed it. He employed and labored with individuals of all races, creeds and sexual orientations.

John Wayne stood for the perfect for all of us —  a society that does not discriminate in opposition to anybody searching for the American dream. It will be an injustice to guage him primarily based on a single interview, versus the total image of who he was. The present concentrate on social justice is totally legitimate and needed. However makes an attempt by some to make use of it for political benefit distract from actual alternatives for reform.

One factor we all know — if John Wayne have been right here as we speak, he can be within the forefront demanding equity and justice for all individuals. He would have pulled these officers off of George Floyd, as a result of that was the precise factor to do. He would stand for everybody’s proper to protest and work towards change. 

Since his dying greater than 40 years in the past, his legacy continues by means of the John Wayne Most cancers Basis, which has helped present braveness, power and grit to the struggle in opposition to most cancers, and thru his intensive movie library. My father believed that we are able to study from yesterday, however not by erasing the previous. His title, regardless of the place it’s, will at all times embody these values, and our household is aware of the optimistic impression that he made on the world won’t ever be diminished.

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