ORANGE (CBSLA) — Orange County Democrats are calling on the OC Board of Supervisors to change the name of John Wayne Airport, citing the late Hollywood star’s “white supremacist, anti-LGBT, and anti-Indigenous views.”
The resolution, issued on Friday, also calls for the airport’s original name, Orange County Airport, to be reinstated.
OC Democrats referred to Wayne’s famous 1971 interview with Playboy Magazine.
In that interview, Wayne said, “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 said that he didn’t condone slavery, but: “I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves.”
The famous film cowboy also made controversial comments about Native Americans in the interview.
“I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. … [O]ur so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival,” he said. “There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”
The OC Democratic Party says the resolution is part of a “national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names… [that produce] lasting physical and psychological stress and trauma, particularly to Black communities.”
Airport officials have declined to comment, saying it’s up to the board of supervisors to decide on any name change.
This story has been updated.