When it comes to homophobia, racism, and just general bigotry, Hollywood has been trying to clean up its act of late. Movements like #METOO and #TIMESUP have shone a light on those in the business who need to be called out. Well, it seems like that may have to extend to the deceased. Nobody would mistake John Wayne for a bleeding heart Liberal, but it seems he was even more of a dinosaur than previously assumed.
An interview that Wayne gave with Playboy Magazine in 1971 has resurfaced, with outrage spilling across Twitter. In the interview, the Academy Award winner spews bile against African-Americans, Native-Americans, and homosexual couples. Though not seen as controversial at the time, modern thinking has rightly re-evaluated that sort of mindset. As such, social media is up in arms.
A sampling of some of what Wayne had to say:
PLAYBOY: What kind of films do you consider perverted?
WAYNE: Oh, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy—that kind of thing. Wouldn’t you say that the wonderful love of those two men in Midnight Cowboy, a story about two fags, qualifies? But don’t get me wrong. As far as a man and a woman is concerned, I’m awfully happy there’s a thing called sex. It’s an extra something God gave us. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be in pictures. Healthy, lusty sex is wonderful.
PLAYBOY: Angela Davis claims that those who would revoke her teaching credentials on ideological grounds are actually discriminating against her because she’s black. Do you think there’s any truth in that?
WAYNE: With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.
And some of the Twitter reactions:
Jesus fuck, John Wayne was a straight up piece of shit
(Playboy interview, May 1971) pic.twitter.com/okfG1iZb0U
— Matt Williams (@pixelpreaching) February 18, 2019
“If it’s supposed to be a black character, naturally I use a black actor” was as “woke” as John Wayne got, I guess. https://t.co/4cDjs886gr
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) February 19, 2019