The University of Southern California has confirmed that the John Wayne exhibit located at the School of Cinematic Arts will be removed from the premises and archived due to the legendary actor’s comments he made back in the 1970s.
While the exhibit has been on display at the school since 2012, students have called out the ‘Rio Bravo’ actor, who died back in 1979, over his racist comments.
In 1971, Wayne admitted he believed in ‘white supremacy’ in an interview and said: “I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves.”
The director, producer, and actor also accused Native Americans of “selfishly trying to keep” their land to themselves.
In the wake of nationwide protests against racial injustice, USC students had begun demanding that Wayne’s exhibit is removed until the officials agreed.
“I am writing to update you on plans for the Wayne exhibit, located in the main building of the School of Cinematic Arts Complex,” USC’s Interim Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Evan Hughes, said in a memo.
“Conversations about systemic racism in our cultural institutions along with the recent global, civil uprising by the Black Lives Matter Movement require that we consider the role our School can play as a change-maker in promoting antiracist cultural values and experiences.
“Therefore, it has been decided that the Wayne Exhibit will be removed.”
As the official explained, the items located in the exhibit would be relocated to the school’s archive.
“Placing them within the proper archival and research context will allow scholarship to continue on the role that John Wayne’s films played in the history of cinema,” Hughes added.
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