Calls for John Wayne Airport to change its name after racist, homophobic interview resurfaces

The iconic Hollywood star 'believed in white supremacy.'
The iconic Hollywood star 'believed in white supremacy.' Photo credit: Getty Images/Playboy

John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California is reportedly looking to change its name, after an interview in Playboy magazine from 1971 with the Hollywood star the airport was named after resurfaced online.

In the interview, John Wayne made comments that in this day would likely see his career grind to a halt.

"I believe in white supremacy," he said.

"We can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks."

He was open about his thoughts on slavery, too.

"I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves," the True Grit star said.

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that's what you're asking."

He also called the movie Midnight Cowboy "a story about two fags" in the interview.

Feedback online has been mixed.

One Twitter user suggested a new name for the airport.

"Since there’s some controversy with changing the name of the John Wayne airport bc he was homophobic and racist, I propose it be changed to the Ellen Degeneres airport effective immediately."


Others say Wayne's comments should be forgotten.

"This week on Time Haters, woke millennials who have always lived in a world with John Wayne Airport suddenly discover he was racist and want a name change...
... Solving exactly zero of the world's problems, as usual," one user said in reply to the Los Angeles Times.

Comedian Whitney Cummings pointed out controversial comments aren't just confined to the history books.

"You guys don't need to go back to John Wayne to find racist homophobes - maybe we should focus on the alive ones?" she tweeted.


John Wayne Airport has been contacted for comment.