The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts announced its decision on Friday to remove a John Wayne exhibit from the main building.
Deputy Dean for Diversity and Inclusion Evan Hughes explained the school’s decision in a memo shared on Twitter.
“I am writing to update you on the plans for the Wayne Exhibition, located in the main building of the School of Cinematic Arts Complex. Conversations about systemic racism in our cultural institutions along with the latest global civil uprising from the Black Lives Matter Movement require us to consider “The role that our school can play as a change maker in promoting anti-racist cultural values and experiences. Therefore, it has been decided that the Wayne Exhibition will be removed,”
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Hughes said the school is “grateful” to students who expressed their thoughts on the subject. He also confirmed that material from the exhibit will be moved to the Cinematic Arts Library archive “where other artifacts and articles from influential Hollywood figures are available for research and scholarship purposes.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, students protested the Wayne Exhibition last fall, claiming that the school would “support white supremacy” if they kept it.
Wayne attended USC in the 1920s and was a member of the football team.
The decision comes just over two weeks after California Democrats in Orange County asked to rename John Wayne Airport. The resolution, which was passed, calls on the county regulator to restore the name to Orange County Airport.
Requirements for Wayne’s name and likeness to be removed from various locations across the country cite the late actor’s interview from PlayStation 1971 with Playboy where he was quoted saying that he believes in white supremacy.
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The youngest son of the late icon, Ethan Wayne, released a statement following the controversy over the Tea Root, stating that his father “did not support ‘white supremacy’ in any way.”
Ethan went on to say that his deceased father “believed that responsible people should gain power without using force.”