Sharon Osbourne agrees with many people who think the statue of John Wayne should be removed from the airport named after him located in Orange County, California. According to a Daily Star report, Osbourne thinks the actor was a terrible person and a racist who does not deserve to be commemorated.
The wife of Ozzy Osbourne said that Wayne had a “reputation” for hating Black and Jewish people, along with anyone “that wasn’t white.” She added that the statue freaks her out.
“When the airport came, I was like: ‘Why would you give this man this honour of having an airport named after somebody like that, who is just a bad man, a really ugly man?’ We cannot celebrate these people that we once thought were heroes.”
According to The Sun, the former America’s Got Talent judge is in favor of the campaign to have the statue removed. There have also been calls for the airport’s name be changed since it honors Wayne.
Several Twitter users were unhappy with the 67-year-old’s opinion on the statue.
One person tagged her in a comment, saying, “shame on your for saying what you did about John Wayne!”
They went on to say that he was a “great American” and that Osbourne should leave the past in the past. The user’s sentiments were echoed by some others who felt that Wayne’s old comments could have been misconstrued.
The article stated that a recent resolution asked for the area’s board of supervisors to “restore the name to the Orange County Airport.”
The actor, who died at the age of 72 in 1979 from stomach cancer, made some polarizing comments in a recently resurfaced interview with Playboy Magazine from 1971. In the interview, Wayne said he “believed in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”
Despite the public outcry, Wayne’s living relatives have argued that he was not a racist. When the controversy surrounding the statue and airport name first began a few days ago, Wayne’s son, Ethan, gave a statement to Fox News. He said the term “racist” was being “casually tossed around these days” and he did not believe that his father supported “white supremacy in any way.” Instead, he felt that his father’s words had been “wrongly conveyed.”
Amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against systematic racism and police brutality, many protestors have called for the removal of statues deemed to be in support of racist ideals. Several Confederate monuments have already been removed, either legally or by force during protests.
Yesterday, The Inquisitr reported that the mayor of Richmond, Virginia, had officially ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate monuments in the city. Several of the statues have already been forcefully toppled.