California Democrats are seeking to rename the John Wayne Airport in Orange County because of the actor’s bigoted comments during a 1971 interview with Playboy magazine.
In the piece, which has sparked controversy in the past, Wayne said he believed in white supremacy, adding: “I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or ten generations ago these people were slaves.”
“There have been numerous calls to remove John Wayne’s namesake from the Orange County airport due to the views of Wayne’s white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-Indian,” the Orange County Democratic Party said in a resolution passed on Friday.
“The Orange County Democratic Party condemns John Wayne’s racist and bigoted statements, and calls for John Wayne’s name and image to be removed from the Orange County airport.”
The resolution required the facility to revert to its previous incarnation as the Orange County Airport. The news was first reported in the Los Angeles Times.
“Efforts have been made in the past to accomplish this and now we are putting our name and our support behind this to make sure there is a name change,” Ada Briceño, chairwoman of the Orange County Democratic Party, told the newspaper.
Wayne, an iconic 20th century actor, died in 1979 and the airport was renamed in his honor that same year. A Wayne statue was also erected on the site in 1982.