An interview with John Wayne saying that he "believes in white supremacy" in 1971 has now resurfaced and people are having a hard time seeing this side of the actor. The legendary actor also told Playboy around 50 years ago that "Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far".
He further referred to the Native Americans as being "selfish" and also said that they should "pay as much for Alcatraz as we paid them for Manhattan". A screenwriter Matt Williams took to Twitter to share small excerpts from the interview which sparked some very heated discussions. Williams wrote, "Jesus f***, John Wayne was a straight up piece of s***" before tweeting screenshots of the quotes from the interview which show his racist and homophobic remarks.
The post went viral very quickly and racked up to 30,000 likes and almost 10,000 retweets on Tuesday evening. John Wayne whose real name is Marion Mitchell Morrison had made those comments almost 50 years ago but it comes as a shocker to young social media users.
Wayne starred in movies such as the Alamo, The Green Beret, and True Grit. He even won an Academy Award for the movie 'True Grit'. However, with his comments to Playboy resurfacing, it seems like his image has taken a beating. Wayne had told the magazine, "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."
He also told the magazine that there was "quite a bit of resentment" among "blacks". "But we can't all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks," he shared. He also opened up on his thoughts on Native Americans and said, "I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. I think we ought to make a deal with the Indians. They should pay as much for Alcatraz as we paid them for Manhattan."
"I hope they haven't been careless with their wampum," he added. At the time, Wayne was also asked whether Hollywood is doing enough to have diversity and said, "I've directed two pictures and I gave blacks their proper position. I had a black slave in The Alamo, and I had a number of blacks in The Green Berets. I think the Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far. ... I suppose there should be the same percentage of the colored race in films as in society. But it can't always be that way."
People were shocked by his comments and took to Twitter wondering what was the need to bring up the interview of a man who is now long dead. Eugene Gu wrote on Twitter, "John Wayne died in 1979. The fact that some people are outraged now over what he said in a 1971 Playboy interview is just peak outrage culture. It’s not only ridiculous but it cheapens truly egregious events worthy of real outrage and attention. It’s like crying wolf every time." Mark Harris added, "I'm reading all these tweets and getting slightly worried about whether John Wayne is still going to be able to get work."
There were some Wayne supporters who also commented as one said, "Snowflakes on Twitter tweeting about the John Wayne Playboy interview from 1971. The man was born in 1907 he grew up during a time when racism was a real problem in this country. Besides he been dead for 39 years idiots!" Another supporter shared, "I wish John Wayne was still alive so he could laugh in the face of today’s weaklings, light up a Lucky Strike, and cruise away with their girlfriends."