Now they’ve even cancelled John Wayne

An exhibit dedicated to the late actor will be removed over racist comments he made in 1971.



Cancel culture has claimed another celebrity – this time, one who is already long dead. The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts is to remove its John Wayne exhibit due to racist comments the late actor made back in the 1970s.

Wayne is an alumnus of USC, but because of the comments he made in an interview with Playboy magazine in 1971, some felt that honouring him was tantamount to ‘endorsing white supremacy’.

Evan Hughes, the university’s assistant dean of diversity and inclusion – some title – said the ‘global, civil uprising by the Black Lives Matter movement’ meant it was necessary to ‘consider the role our school can play as a change-maker in promoting anti-racist cultural values and experiences.’

Wayne told Playboy that he ‘believe[d] in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility’. A reprehensible position to hold, certainly. But, for all the university’s desire to be a ‘change-maker’, it is hard to see what removing Wayne’s exhibit will actually change in the present.

If we judged all the great film stars by the standards of our time, few people would survive the purge. Laurence Olivier, for example, is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time. But should he be un-personed for his use of blackface, for instance?

Wayne was one of the most iconic actors of the 20th century. It is hard to imagine how a school of cinematic arts could not give some kind of nod towards the hero of so many Westerns. His racist remarks surely do not diminish his cinematic legacy.

Let’s cancel cancel culture

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Brian Turner

4th August 2020 at 11:09 am

The Isle of Wight is next

Brandy Cluster

15th July 2020 at 11:42 pm

@PHILIP ST. JOHN LEWIS DAVIES: Yes, this site is confusing for directly responding to particular comments.

Thanks for your well wishes re my family. I don’t hold out much hope as my daughter approaches 40 and still complains about having to go to work!!

Regard the Wayne nomenclature: I take my cue from his naming of his first son, Michael Wayne. Here is an article about his children:

Brandy Cluster

14th July 2020 at 11:31 pm

Why is it a “reprehensible position” for Wayne to have held? I agree with him and millions would too.

Vicki McKerrell

14th July 2020 at 10:35 pm

How could anyone have a problem with a man who single handedly tamed the Wild West and turned the tide of war at Iwo Jima?

Daniel Goldstein

14th July 2020 at 9:41 pm

I’m not sure what’s that bad about his comment. At least it’s honest.

David McAdam

14th July 2020 at 10:13 pm

He tended to shoot from the hip, which for today’s ‘nuanced’ generation is too much for their frail, pc ravaged sensitivities to bear.

Brandy Cluster

14th July 2020 at 11:35 pm

John Wayne was a staunch Republican and that’s too much for Generation Snowflake and its Democratic enablers. That nation is DONE and I’m glad Wayne isn’t here to witness that – he’d be heartbroken by what he saw. As would Howard Hawks and James Stewart – other stalwart Republicans.

I was watching on Sky a program called “Stars of the Silver Screen”. It was made some years ago but many of the biographies are interesting. The particular program last week was on James Stewart. The sneering critic Derrick Malcolm talked about Stewart and his friend Henry Fonda. He praised Fonda saying he was a “liberal Democrat” but that Stewart was a “Republican”, implying that this was a shame and a mark against Stewart. (No wonder Malcolm writes for “The Guardian”!). I was extremely annoyed since Stewart volunteered in WW2 and was right in harm’s way where Fonda had many marriages, a wife who killed herself and a daughter nicknamed “Hanoi Jane”.

Those tools from the Left do a lot of damage with their smug pronouncements about who is good and who is bad. They’re just not very bright, I’m afraid. Nuance isn’t in their DNA.

James Knight

14th July 2020 at 9:12 pm

As desperate attempts at virtue signalling go, this one is really scraping the barrel.

Brandy Cluster

14th July 2020 at 11:37 pm

There’s no bottom left in this barrel. My response to all this garbage gets up the nose of Lefties: “the entrepreneurial classes despise all this rubbish”!! That gets them going.

Treacle Tart

14th July 2020 at 7:36 pm

We’ll have to take your word for it that what he said was “reprehensible”. You only quote part of a sentence, without context. I’d like to see the whole thing before leaping to judgement. It is not even specified which country he was talking about. Was he talking about South Africa? Was he advocating better education for blacks? We have no way of knowing.

James Knight

14th July 2020 at 9:01 pm

Lower educational achievement – if true – is not the same as moral inferiority. That is what “white supremacy” implies. It is actually the current Remoan argument against Brexit voters.

But I expect nobody really read Playboy “for the interviews”.

Brandy Cluster

14th July 2020 at 11:39 pm

They would definitely be horrified by the writings of Dr. Thomas Sowell – an African American Economist from Stanford who is very critical of black culture and its enabling of failure.

John Reic

14th July 2020 at 6:28 pm

Ubik Ubik ditto me with JK rowling, Glinner, Morrisey, Alison Moyet, Jodie Cromer, Gareth Roberts …..

ubik ubik

14th July 2020 at 7:26 pm

Check out Bari Weiss’ resignation from the NYT at her website, it’s an eye-opener…I’m sure a lawsuit is about to be delivered to the “Gray Lady”…

Brandy Cluster

14th July 2020 at 11:40 pm

This vicious woman I don’t feel sorry for. She laid contemptuously into Dr. Jordan Peterson at the NYT and she deserves everything she gets. And more.

steve moxon

14th July 2020 at 6:28 pm

Oh, John Wayne has been cancelled since at least 1985.
At that time I was being harrassed by an ex- of an ex-girlfriend of mine, who had goaded him (as part of a re-acquiring-her-ex exercise) with a lie that I’d assaulted her.
A house mate said someone kept ringing up to proclaim “John Wayne is dead, you know”.

Philip St. John Lewis Davies

14th July 2020 at 6:27 pm

As Yeats wrote in ‘The Choice’,

‘The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark’

words which must also suggest that, unless someone were a Saint whose entire life must actually be the cultivation of his own perfection, we should expect that it is the work of ordinary mortals that is what redeems them from obscurity and insignificance, or worse, cultural censorship. Any regrettable personal behaviour and views should certainly be recognised, reproved and condemned, but in a truly moral belief-system a degree of redemption can be granted historical figures for the quality and worth of their work. As the writer says, ‘His racist remarks surely do not diminish his cinematic legacy’.

However, in the world of prescriptive ideology and ‘political correctness’ moral judgements are inappropriate, and the beautiful brainchild cherished by all must be thrown out with the personal brainwashing toxins. No distinction may be made which recognises and accepts human frailty and error. No account of a man that accommodates both the good and the bad of his existence can be allowed to enter the Pantheon of the Left. Unless of course he be a hero of the Left. Then the portrait of a plaster saint is got up to redeem the dubious secular creed.

That is why, in their tendentious view, a hero of the Right must be condemned without appeal for his politics, while his work in a worthwhile and uniquely American art form can never be celebrated. Intolerant absolutists take ‘guilt by association’ to crazy levels. They will even topple icons if they cannot lynch and murder the living originals. Ideological purity demands regular purges. Their corrected history means the imposition of a lie.

They are of course clinically insane.

But if this important museum no longer feels able to convincingly present all sides of this notable American cultural icon to the public, then perhaps it should simply abandon it’s educational role altogether, and become just another peddler of Marxisante propaganda, like so many of our cultural institutions. And no doubt John Wayne’s better traits will be airbrushed away, enabling him to be set to stand in a corner of shame alongside monsters of Fascism like Hitler, cast into a bad eminence forever.

They do like the simple lives of their Saints and Devils in the Church of the Gospel according to Marx. These unreal figures impress the ignorant proles – and don’t lead them astray with bourgeoise morality, that only confuses their unthinking loyalty to the Party.

I really don’t see why such a great US cultural institution should see it as any part of it’s duty to the American people to be the custodian of any profoundly anti-American view of American heritage. So long as all warts and blemishes remain in evidence, Americans must be allowed to form their own assessment of both John Wayne and Marion Robert Morrison, a complex, flawed and important figure.

These political vermin should no more be allowed into a museum than any other pests that might destroy the exhibits.

Brandy Cluster

14th July 2020 at 11:45 pm

But all of this – all of it – is enabled by the increasingly extreme Leftist Democratic Party.

Marion MICHAEL Morrison was a flaw man; I’m a flawed woman. And I’ve read about “the fall”, which explains it all. Gen Snowflake, Entitlement and Grievance and their pity parties are going to find out too late that they’ve been left behind. My own daughter has lived a reckless life compared to mine; no kids, no partner, no steady job, flirting with drugs and sexually permissive. She won’t speak to me because, as my doctor says, “she sees her failures when she looks at you”. I would say to her – as I would these pathetic authoritarian Snowflakes – “you were promised everything by the womens’ movement; that you wouldn’t be judged no matter what you chose to do or how to behave and that you were free to do as you liked and still expect no consequences”. THEY WERE WRONG.

Philip St. John Lewis Davies

15th July 2020 at 12:39 pm

I wholeheartedly concur with your views. At the same time I do sadly sympathise with the repercussions your own family have suffered from our cultural malaise. Let’s hope your daughter will eventually turn herself around, with your help.

A curiosity of your kind correction of my recollection of John Wayne’s actual birth-name is how uncertain the sources are of the correct one: I’ve seen, variously, Marion Robert Morrison, Marion Robert Michael Morrison, Marion Mitchell Morrison, Marion Robert Mitchell Morrison, and even Marion Robert ‘Mitchell’ Morrison and Robert ‘Marion Mitchell’ Morrison !!? I admit that the ‘Biography’ Website does say that some sources also list him as Marion Michael Morrison, but obviously any ‘correction’ is open to considerable doubt, in view of such confusion.

Admittedly also – since I didn’t note this in my comment – it appears that the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts has (according to The Hollywood Reporter) ensured that ‘ – – – materials from the exhibit, created in 2012, will be moved to the school’s Cinematic Arts Library for research and scholarship, along with other Hollywood artifacts, to “allow scholarship to continue on the role John Wayne’s films played in the history of cinema.” ‘ so at least they can be applauded for that.

But agitators should not dictate the policy of professional institutions, or public bodies. That always sets a dangerous precedent. As Rudyard Kipling once said (and regrettably I have mislaid the source of the quote):

‘If you turn and run, every cur in the bazaar will run after you.’

Philip St. John Lewis Davies

15th July 2020 at 12:45 pm

(I intended the above views for ‘Brandy Cluster’ but this Forum doesn’t work that way, apparently, hence this placard to re-route the intended addressee. Without it, the comment would appear to be a massive non sequitur, and puzzle many.)

Gordon O Gopher

14th July 2020 at 6:20 pm

“but because of the comments he made in an interview with Playboy magazine in 1971, some felt that honouring him was tantamount to ‘endorsing white supremacy“

I was alright with the comments. It was his centrefold that made me uncomfortable.

Dominic Straiton

14th July 2020 at 6:14 pm

Wont be long until Martin Luther King is cancelled. Im not joking.

ubik ubik

14th July 2020 at 5:56 pm

I’ve never been that great a fan of John Wayne’s movies…now I am.

Brian Turner

4th August 2020 at 11:08 am

Me too

Jim Lawrie

14th July 2020 at 5:23 pm

The interview with John Wayne reveals a well educated and informed man who was no pushover.

Jonathan Marshall

14th July 2020 at 4:54 pm

Madness. Utter, barking, howling madness.

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