John Wayne Airport To Be Renamed After His Remarks From 1971 Resurface

On June 20, 1979, The Orange County Airport was named the “John Wayne Airport. ” And in 1982, a statue of the actor was installed. This was named as such in honor of the actor John Wayne who lived in the neighboring Newport Beach, who also passed away that year.

The John Wayne Airport is a commercial and general aviation airport. It is serving the Orange County, California, as well as the Greater Los Angeles areas.

Democrats were calling for the airport to be renamed. This came about after a 1971 interview with the legendary movie star resurfaced. What he said during the interview definitely sparked outrage.

During the said interview, John Wayne can be heard making controversial comments regarding race and homosexuality. And this is how a debate started happening – whether this Southern California airport should remain under the name of the legendary actor, or should it be time to rename it.

According to CNN, the said the interview was with Playboy.

In the 48-year-old interview, Wayne can be heard saying that he believed in “white supremacy” until “irresponsible” black people became more educated. He also said that the Native Americans were “selfishly” trying to keep their land.

In the same interview, the actor was also asked if which of the films could he consider perverted. The actor answered that it was the 1969 “Easy Rider” and the “Midnight Cowboy.”

He said, “Wouldn’t you say that the wonderful love of those two men in Midnight Cowboy, a story about two f*gs, qualifies? But don’t get me wrong. As far as a man and a woman are concerned, I’m awfully happy there’s a thing called sex.” John Wayne revealed to be a homophobe. Allegedly, he then used anti-gay slurs.

After his legacy was put under the spotlight, the actors’ son, Ethan Wayne explained that his fathers’ answers during that interview were taken out of context.

During his interview with CNN, he said, “It would be an injustice to judge someone based on an interview that’s being used out of context. ” He added, “They’re trying to contradict how he lived his life, and how he lived his life was who he was.

So any discussion of removing his name from the airport should include the full picture of the life of John Wayne and not be based on a single outlier interview from half a century ago.”

Michael Hiltzik, a writer for The Los Angeles Times, argued that Wayne represents a bygone era. He also called for the airport to be renamed.

He wrote: “Orange County today is such an economically and ethnically diverse community that it’s hard to justify asking any member of that community to board planes at an airport named after an outspoken racist and homophobe, with his strutting statue occupying a central niche in front of the concourse.”

Madeline Fry who is also a writer for the Washington Examiner wrote: “Removing his name from Orange County’s airport now only validates what many Americans are coming to believe: You can’t say anything anymore, darn it, without being discovered and punished by the mob.”

Which side are you in with regards to this debate? Do you think that it is right to take John Wayne’s name out and rename the airport? Do you find John Wayne’s comments offensive?


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