John Wayne’s Son Defends Him After Troubling Interview Resurfaces Nearly 50 Years Later
John Wayne‘s son Ethan Wayne is speaking out to defend his father after an interview that the late actor did in 1971 resurfaced.
Wayne made disparaging remarks about several groups of people in the interview with Playboy. He used a homophobic slur while describing characters from Midnight Cowboy, which he called a “perverted” film.
“I believe in white supremacy,” he also said. “We can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”
Wayne also said that Native Americans “were selfishly trying to keep (the US) for themselves.”
Now, a petition is calling for John Wayne Airport in Southern California to be renamed.
Click inside to read Ethan Wayne’s response to the controversy…
“It would be an injustice to judge someone based on an interview that’s being used out of context,” Ethan Wayne said on CNN. “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.”
Ethan acknowledges that his father “used a terrible word,” referring to the anti-gay slur. “But he used it not in the context of an individual’s sexuality. He used it in the context of the changing landscape of the motion picture business, something that distressed him,” he said. “My father worked in Hollywood for 50 years, and Hollywood is probably, you know, one of the most progressive and diverse communities on Earth. He didn’t care what race, gender, sexual orientation you were. He cared how well you did your job. He took everyone at face value.”
“They put my father’s name on that airport for the same reason that Congress voted to give him a Congressional Gold Medal, for the same reason that the President decided to give him a Medal of Freedom. And it’s recognition of a lifetime of significant contributions to this country, his community and to his industry,” Ethan said.
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