John Wayne: Californian university students want actor exhibit removed after his ‘legacy of white supremacy’ revealed

Controversial interview with Western star resurfaced earlier this year

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 10 October 2019 10:49 BST
John Wayne says 'the rest of America shouldn't feel guilty' about racism in 1974 interview

Student activists at the University of Southern California have called for a long-standing exhibit honouring alumnus John Wayne to be removed, after an interview resurfaced in which the actor said he believes in white supremacy.

The Playboy interview in question, which made headlines earlier this year, took place in 1971.

It quoted Wayne, who died in 1979, saying: “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”

He also said he didn’t “feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from [Native Americans] adding that there were "great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves”.

Wayne, who attended the college in the late 1920s, has had a collection of movie posters, memorabilia, awards and personal correspondence on display there since 2012.

Students have cited what they claim is Wayne’s “legacy of endorsing white supremacy and the removal of indigenous people” as their reason for requesting the exhibit be taken down.

The students’ demands follow a recent campaign to have the name of Orange County’s John Wayne Airport changed.

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