The School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC) will take down its John Wayne exhibit due to issues of systemic racism.
The late actor’s bigoted remarks have come to light again and there have been calls to rename the John Wayne airport in Orange County and remove statues built in his honor. The decision to rename the airport has been left to the county’s Board of Supervisors.
On Friday, USC Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Evan Hughes announced the removal of the exhibit to the film school community.
“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,” he said.
Hughes added that the exhibit will be moved to the Cinematic Arts Library, where it can be placed “within the proper archival and research context”.
Wayne was a big-name Hollywood actor known for his Western movies. Film students can still continue studying his movies and characters.
Wayne’s bigoted comments from a 1941 Playboy interview has resurfaced and has been shared on social media.
As early as October, USC students have been asking that the John Wayne exhibit be taken down.