“I believe in white supremacy”: racist John Wayne interview from 1971 causes outrage as it resurfaces online

The screen icon died in 1979

A notorious interview with screen icon John Wayne where he said he ‘believes in white supremacy’ has resurfaced to fresh controversy online.

The Western actor who starred in films such as True Grit and The Quiet Man told Playboy in 1971 that “Hollywood studios are carrying their tokenism a little too far”.

The interview, which was tweeted by screenwriter Matt Williams, also saw Wayne referring to Native Americans as  “selfish”.

“I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility,” said Wayne in the interview.”I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.”

Posting the article on Twitter, Williams described Wayne as a “straight up piece of shit”.

But it also provoked debate about how to handle views from the past – with some claiming that Wayne’s opinions were well documented.

Eugene Gu wrote: “John Wayne died in 1979. The fact that some people are outraged now over what he said in a 1971 Playboy interview is just peak outrage culture.”

“It’s not only ridiculous but it cheapens truly egregious events worthy of real outrage and attention.”

Another argued: “That isn’t going to stop watching/enjoying the films. I get the point, but I can divorce the art from the person If you don’t agree in terms of Wayne, you’re going to have to stop watching/listening to films, music, plays etc or not appreciating some pieces of art or buildings.”

Amid the mixture of comments, someone also used the opportunity to take a dig at recent Oscars controversy.

“100% they’re gonna ask John Wayne to host the Oscars next year,” wrote Ehrlich, a reference to Kevin Hart’s controversial resignation from this year’s ceremony.