The Duke was as famous on the silver screen as he was off it. However, decades after his death, several comments he made have resurfaced and could jeopardize everything he worked to achieve. However, family have rallied around his memory and are fighting to keep the legend strong.
The year is 1971, and John Wayne is on the cusp of making remarks that will be turning heads more than 35 years after his death. On screen his characters are noted for equal treatment and fair play; regardless of nationality, religion, creed or anything else. Consequently, the public was astonished when a Playboy interview revealed that he may have had a much more conservative view of the world.
“I believe in white supremacy until the Blacks are educated to a point of responsibility,” is one of the disparaging remarks that have once again been dredged up.
John Wayne at a party thrown for Milton Berle in Los Angeles, September 1955 pic.twitter.com/nFymqKrTDB
— Old Hollywood (@TheOldHollywood) August 10, 2020
In today’s boiling climate of racial tensions, these comments have been causing quite a stir in social media. Unfortunately, that is not the only place. If cancel culture has it’s way, the memory of John Wayne will be swept neatly under the rug. When faced with the uproar from its faculty and students, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, has agreed to remove an exhibit from its grounds. These developments are not the only ones to have surfaced in recent months. Officials in Orange County, California have come under pressure to change the name of John Wayne Airport.
In light of the backlash his daughters Marissa and Alissa, have countered with a few comments of their own. Both daughters praise their fathers’ ability to treat people fairly. To understand the difference of opinion, did not mean that he did not respect the person who gave it. Furthermore, they insist that their fathers’ had considerable respect for his fellow man. To cement the thought, his son Ethan has even made a statement in defense of his father as well.
“He called out bigotry when he saw it. He hired and worked with people of all races, creeds and sexual orientations. John Wayne stood for the very best for all of us…”
Even with the defense the family his putting up, cancel culture is determined to have their way. While, this scenario is nothing new. It is discouraging that comments made over 3 decades ago can cause such a commotion today.
While the characters John Wayne played in Hollywood have created a legacy many aim to emulate; it’s the comments made off the screen that may destroy him. However, his family is determined that he be remembered for the content of his entire character. Not just a few words that may now be out of place.