John Wayne has always been known for his successful career in the film industry. For more than three decades, John Wayne’s films set box office records — making him one of the most notable actors in history. In his prime, John Wayne was highly respected for his on-screen talent, but now he’s being widely criticized as a result of a previous interview that has been unearthed.
According to Hollywood Life, in 1971, John Wayne sat down for an interview with Playboy magazine where he was asked about Civil Rights activist Angela Davis. At the time, Davis was a major topic of discussion because she argued that anyone with a desire to revoke her teaching credentials based on ideological grounds would only do so because of the color of her skin. John Wayne was asked for his thoughts on the topic, and he offered a disturbing response. He admitted that he stood firmly by the idea of white supremacy, suggesting that African Americans were not “educated to a point of responsibility” to be in positions of leadership.
“With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so,” Wayne said. “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.”
Playboy fired back at the famed actor, asking him how he could “judge which blacks are irresponsible and which of their leaders inexperienced?” To that question, John Wayne had yet another controversial response. “It’s not my judgment,” Wayne said. “Some blacks have tried to force the issue and enter college when they haven’t passed the tests and don’t have the requisite background.”
John Wayne went on to take credit for “giving blacks their proper place in Hollywood,” insisting he’d featured a black slave in his film The Alamo and multiple unnamed actors in his film The Green Beret.
However, John Wayne didn’t stop there. He went on to share his opinion of homosexuals. Wayne was asked his opinion of the homosexual scenes in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. He didn’t have any reservations about sharing his opinion of the film. He made it clear that he found the film to be “perverted.” The actor’s statements about that film — and another titled Easy Rider — suggest that he was very homophobic.
John Wayne’s unearthed interview has led to heightened criticism. In today’s world, Wayne’s statements would have been dissected and crucified by the jury of social media. In fact, that’s actually what is happening now. Many social media users have shared their sentiments of John Wayne’s views, and have admitted that they see the actor quite differently now.