A push to change the name of the airport in Orange County comes after a 1971 interview with the late actor surfaced, in which he declared his belief in white supremacy.
AceShowbiz –Sharon Osbourne has backed a campaign to change the name of Orange County’s John Wayne Airport.
The 67-year-old music manager and TV star told Britain’s Daily Star newspaper that the name is no longer appropriate, following the unearthing of a 1971 interview he gave to Playboy magazine in which he said he “believed in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility.”
“It just gives me the creeps,” Sharon said of the airport’s name. “There has always been this reputation of him of really hating blacks, Jews, anybody that wasn’t white.”
“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.”
In addition to the airport being named after the late actor following his death in 1979, a nine-foot statue of him stands outside the airport.
Following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests that have been held around the world, there has been a push to rename the airport Orange County Airport because of Wayne’s previous remarks.
However, his son Ethan Wayne has hit back at claims his dad was a racist, telling Fox News in a statement, “Let me make one thing – John Wayne was not a racist. I know that term is casually tossed around these days, but I take it very seriously. I also understand how we got to this point.”
“There is no question that the words spoken by John Wayne in an interview 50 years ago have caused pain and anger. They pained him as, well, as he realized his true feelings were wrongly conveyed.”
Ethan continued, “One thing we know – if John Wayne were here today, he would be in the forefront demanding fairness and justice for all people.”
“He would have pulled those officers off of George Floyd, because that was the right thing to do. He would stand for everyone’s right to protest and work toward change.”
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