The son of late movie star John Wayne has denied that his father was a racist following calls to have his name and a statue of him to be removed from a California airport.
Ethan Wayne released a statement to TMZ, claiming that his father would have been "in the forefront demanding fairness and justice for all people. He would have pulled those officers off of George Floyd, because that was the right thing to do."
The criticism actually comes from the actor's Playboy interview, where he made hugely offensive remarks about African Americans.
"I believe in white supremacy," Wayne told the publication. "I don't believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people."
Part of Ethan's statement reads: "John Wayne stood for the very best for all of us — a society that doesn't discriminate against anyone seeking the American dream. It would be an injustice to judge him based on a single interview, as opposed to the full picture of who he was. The current focus on social justice is absolutely valid and necessary. But attempts by some to use it for political advantage distract from real opportunities for reform.
The statement continues, "One thing we know — if John Wayne were here today, he would be in the forefront demanding fairness and justice for all people. He would have pulled those officers off of George Floyd, because that was the right thing to do. He would stand for everyone's right to protest and work toward change."