Back to the future: Critics connect John Wayne’s 1971 comments to none other than Donald Trump

by WorldTribune Staff, February 20, 2019

John Wayne was born in 1907 and died in 1979.

The phrase “John Wayne” was trending on Twitter over the weekend after a viral tweet circulated featured excerpts from the legendary actor’s 1971 interview with Playboy.

John Wayne

The tweet highlighted portions of the interview where Wayne said that films portraying homosexuality were “perverted,” and statements asserting that “blacks” were uneducated and therefore lacked adequate “responsibility” for leadership positions.

The ensuing tweetstorm saw many outraged posters finding new relevancy in the 40-year-old interview, with some saying Wayne’s comments are wholly representative of the Trump era.

Pia Glenn, an actress who played Condoleezza Rice in Will Ferrell’s 2009 political comedy “You’re Welcome America,” tweeted that there exist “direct lines” between Wayne’s language “and the country today.”

Journalist Elon James White tweeted: “I love the tweets explaining how John Wayne was born in the early 1900’s so we shouldn’t be horrified. Ya gotta pick one. Are we trying to go back to those times or were those times terrible? Ya can’t make America great again while making excuses about how shitty it was.”

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro hit the absurdity nail on the head: “John Wayne was only emboldened to say these terrible things because Donald Trump is president.”

Shapiro also tweeted: “I look forward to us digging up every celebrity corpse and then screaming for it to rethink its position on key political issues. That should be fun.”

Others pointed out that comments made almost 50 years ago by someone born 112 years ago are bound to be outdated.

“I am shocked that John Wayne, who was born in 1907 (!) made some un-progressive remarks in 1971. Just shocked. This is me being shocked,” Reason Magazine editor Robby Soave joked.

Wayne was in his 60s at the time he was interviewed by Richard Warren Lewis for Playboy. He was asked about numerous hot topics, including race and the state of Hollywood.

Read Wayne’s 1971 interview with Playboy here

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