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John Wayne Airport May Be Renamed Over Previous Racist and Bigoted Statements Made by the Actor

Joe Akins
Jun 30, 2020
04:30 P.M.

The Democratic Party of Orange County, California, are no longer willing to put up with the use of late actor John Wayne's name for the airport in Orange County and would like a name change.


The democrats in Orange County passed a resolution calling for a name change for John Wayne's airport. They made this known in the resolution that was passed on Friday.

John Wayne during the filming of the movie 'Legend of the Lost', Tripoli, January 01, 1956 | Photo: Getty Images

John Wayne during the filming of the movie 'Legend of the Lost', Tripoli, January 01, 1956 | Photo: Getty Images

They also want his likeness and statue removed from the airport. The recent move is being made amid the national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names.

The resolution also stated that John Wayne's name was used at a time when Orange County was very different from what it is now. The region has now become more culturally diverse.


This has led to several calls for the removal of John Wayne's name as he expressed white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-indigenous opinions during a playboy Interview in 1971. His statement was quoted in the resolution. Wayne said:

"I believe in white supremacy I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves."

Although the Democrats have called for the name change, the final decision will be taken by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.


The call for the removal of his name is said to be unfair as Wayne is not alive to explain his view or even retract it. Wayne's son, Ethan Wayne, who is still alive, defended his dad's comments during an interview that took place last year.

The out of context statement is a contradiction of the way he had lived.

Ethan claimed that the interview had been taken out of context and so no judgment should be passed based on it. He also stated that the way his father lived, which depicted who he was, contradicts the statement.


Ethan wants any decision which will be taken to involve the consideration of the full picture of his father's life and not just a single Interview.

Born May 26, 1907, John Wayne was one of the most famous actors in the 20th century. He is widely known for roles in movies like "True Grit," which earned him his first academy award.


His breakout role was in a 1939 movie, "Stagecoach," where he played an escaped outlaw who went by the name Ringo Kid. Shortly before his death, the U.S. Congress approved a congressional gold medal for Wayne. It was given to his family in 1980.

In the same month as Wayne's passing, the Orange County Airport was renamed after him. Wayne passed away in 1979 after a battle with stomach cancer. He was survived by seven children.

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