The commercial airport in Orange County is known to many locals as John Wayne airport after the famous movie actor and American hero that lived in Newport Beach here in Orange County.
Apart from the name a statue which can be seen in the photo is also in the terminal building of the the airport. The airports code is SNA which stands for the city its which it is In which is Santa Ana; I have also heard flight attendants upon landing call it Orange County Airport so it gets confusing but locals use its official name John Wayne Airport.
Recently a 1971 interview John Wayne did with Playboy Magazine resurfaced and comments he made in that article have been seen by many as racist and offensive.
Now Orange County Democrats want his name and likeness removed from the airport which they simply want to call Orange County Airport. I don’t excuse his comments and this is not the place to discuss them but things do need to be looked at in the context of the time they were in which doesn’t excuse them. I do not believe John Wayne was a white supremacist and I believe by his actions show he wasn’t.
Anytime you name anything after a real person there is always a chance sometime in the future that you find out something that is offensive. The interview in question isn’t on video it’s written by a journalist and it’s a discussion so there is no follow up questions or asking him what he means by his comments.
I think they should leave the John Wayne name on the airport but now it’s up to the Orange County board of Supervisors to decide the issue.