Make no mistake about it: John Wayne was not, by any means, a bleeding heart liberal. However, given the shocking reaction from many this past week, stemming from old comments Wayne gave more than four decades ago, it seems like progressive millennials really thought The Duke was one of their own.
Exhibit A: USC students now want a USC School of Cinematic Arts Wayne exhibit canceled. A week and a half ago a pair of SCA students, juniors Eric Plant and Reanna Cruz, made some noise on the USC campus by protesting the Wayne exhibit with a banner.
USC Annenberg Media correspondent Leanna Albanese reported the protest on 9.27. “When you have an exhibit up that celebrates the idea and the legacy of someone that is blatantly racist, a white supremacist and directly says that he is a white supremacist…it seems as though SCA does not care about [its] students,” Plant told her.
“[The exhibit] being in SCA just makes me feel uncomfortable as someone who is Native American,” Plant explained. “Take down the whole exhibit. There’s no other way that this can be remedied. This is something that I’m going to fight for the entire time that I’m here.”
This anti-Wayne sentiment really started eight months ago, based on a 1971 interview Wayne gave to Playboy Magazine where he came off as utterly bigoted towards African-Americans, Native-Americans, and homosexuals. Why was this interview dug up and outraged upon only 48 years after its published date? What’s the point of it resurfacing? Well, because we’re living in the era of “cancel culture” and even the dead are fair game in the eyes of social media hounds.
If you remember, back in February of this year, an L.A. Times writer also called for Wayne’s name to be stripped off of Orange County Airport.