Leaders of the Democratic Party in Orange County, California, are calling for the renaming of the John Wayne Airport due to the "racist and bigoted statements" the legendary actor made during a 1971 interview.
Democratic officials passed a resolution on Friday demanding that the county remove Wayne's name, statues, and other likenesses from the airport and "restore its original name: Orange County Airport."
The resolution states that the renaming of the airport is part of a "national movement to remove white supremacist symbols and names [that are] reshaping American institutions, monuments, businesses, nonprofits, sports leagues, and teams."
"There have been past efforts to get this done and now we're putting our name and our backing into this to make sure there is a name change," said chairperson of the Democratic Party of Orange County Ada Briceño.
During a recently resurfaced interview with Playboy in 1971, John Wayne made bigoted comments against African-Americans and Native Americans.
"I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people," Wayne said. "I don't feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves."
He also said he did not think Americans did anything wrong taking "this great country away" from Native Americans, saying it was just a "matter of survival."
"There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves," Wayne said.