USC Will Remove A John Wayne Display After Racist Comments Resurfaced

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Since John Wayne’s history of racist and s*xist comments has recently come under criticism, the USC School of Cinematic Arts has decided to remove a John Wayne exhibit. “Conversations about systemic racism in our cultural institutions and the recent global, civil insurrection by the Black Lives Matter Movement require that we think about the role our School can perform as a change maker in promoting antiracist cultural values and experiences,” said Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Evan Hughes in an announcement to the film school community on Friday.

After an interview in which John Wayne said, “I believe in white supremacy,” surfaced again, Democrats demanded that the airport bearing his name be changed. In light of the recently resurfaced conversation in which John Wayne said, “I believe in white supremacy,” Democrats are calling for the airport’s name to be changed.

Instead, the display will be transferred to the Cinematic Arts Library, where it will be housed “in the right archival and research context” for the purpose of educating future generations about Wayne’s contributions to the cinema industry, as stated by Hughes.

Despite the statement’s lack of specificity, Wayne’s legacy has come under scrutiny as of late, especially when a 1971 interview with Playboy emerged and went viral last year. Wayne expressed his racist and homophobic attitudes toward African-Americans, Native Americans, and LGBT characters in the picture.

John Wayne
John Wayne

The actor said, “I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are brought to a point of accountability.” I don’t think irresponsible people should be trusted with power and decision-making responsibilities.

After Wayne’s remarks, tensions rose on campus, and in October, students started petitioning for the exhibit to be taken down, as reported by Annenberg Media, a student newspaper at USC.

The dismantling of the display coincides with a national reckoning over race and a push to eliminate memorials to those who have supported bigotry, such as Confederate soldiers.

In addition to the USC exhibit, Orange County, California approved a resolution at the end of last month to remove Wayne’s likeness from the airport, citing the Playboy interview. The ultimate decision rests with the County Board of Supervisors.

The chairwoman of the Orange County Democratic Party, Ada Briceño, said in a statement that while that outside of Orange County might not be aware of John Wayne’s white supremacist sentiments, many locals have been clamoring for his removal for years. There are fresh calls for this now, and it’s time for a shift.

His son Ethan Wayne said that his dad “accepted everyone at face value” and that his dad’s comments from the Playboy interview were misconstrued in an interview last year.

Therefore, Ethan Wayne argues, any debate about whether or not to remove John Wayne’s name from the airport should take into account the complete scope of Wayne’s life and not be predicated on a single, anomalous interview conducted over 50 years ago.

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Govind Dhiman
Govind Dhimanhttps://journalistpr.com
Govind Dhiman is a young and passionate entrepreneur who hails from Haryana, India. He founded Journalistpr.com to help journalists in the world of journalism grow their presence and amplify their voice on social media. Govind believes that content marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to establish themselves as authorities in their niche market space by publishing quality content on a consistent basis with an eye towards key metrics like engagement and shares.

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