John Wayne says he ‘believes in white supremacy’ in unearthed interview that causes online stir

Odette Odendaal
Feb 22, 2019
07:43 A.M.
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A resurfaced Playboy interview with John Wayne from May 1971 went viral and raised serious questions about the racial and political views of days gone by versus now.


When the cowboy Hollywood star’s interview recently popped up on Twitter, John’s racial views at the time is what caught the attention of most.

He commented on the black civil rights activist Angela Davis who got fired as a professor in 1969 at UCLA, saying:

"With a lot of blacks, there's quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to the point of responsibility."

The interviewer challenged his statement and asked whether John felt equipped to decide which black people are irresponsible or inexperienced leaders, to which John elaborated:


“It's not my judgment. The academic community has developed certain tests that determine whether the blacks are sufficiently equipped scholastically. But some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven't passed the tests and don't have the requisite background.”


In the almost 50-year old interview, John also got asked about the potential integration of black people in Hollywood. The actor was not against the idea, as long as the actors got cast in their “proper position” and added:

"If it's supposed to be a black character, naturally I use a black actor. I don't go so far as hunting for positions for them. I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far... I suppose there should be the same percentage of the colored race in films as in society. But it can't always be that way."

Being a cowboy acting legend, the subject changed to that of Native Americans, whom he played alongside in his Westerns. About the loss of land the Native American Indians faced, John got asked whether he had “any empathy with them,” to which he responded:


"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them if that's what you're asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves. Look, I'm sure there have been inequalities, but what happened 100 years ago in our country can't be blamed on us today."

One follower on twitter mentioned that society’s views during those years were different from the present day as she wrote:


Another follower strengthened the argument when he made reference to Muhammad Ali and said:


Others on Twitter blamed John Wayne for the portrayal of Native American people in his Westerns, as another tweeted:


The legendary John Wayne was 72 years old when he died after a battle with cancer in 1979. During his career, he brought more people to the box office than any other actor in his 51 years long acting career. Besides Clark Gable that is. But John impressively starred in over 170 films from 1926 until 1977. 

Some might say that fate intervened when John sustained a serious shoulder injury while bodysurfing. As a youngster, John headed into a completely different life. Believe it or not, Wayne was a surfer, and as many may know, John Wayne is not his real name either.

Given to him by Republic Pictures when he first started, they thought his name of Marion Michael Morrison was not the name of a leading man, and eventually, they settled on John Wayne.

Although it's been many years since John’s passing, it's still hard to believe his grandson is already 46-years old. Not only do the pair look similar, but have other things in common as well.