Critics call for John Wayne Airport to be renamed after 1971 Playboy interview resurfaces

The name of John Wayne Airport in Orange County is at the center of a name-change controversy.

Calls from social media users demanded the famous western actor's name and statue be removed from the Santa Ana airport altogether.

The online backlash stemmed from remarks Wayne made during a playboy interview in 1971 when he was 63, saying that he believed in "white supremacy," at least until "irresponsible" black people became more educated.

He went on to say Native Americans were "selfishly" trying to keep their land.

He also used anti-gays slurs when talking about the movies "Easy Rider" and "Midnight Cowboy."

John Wayne Enterprises released a statement to FOX 11 reporter Leah Uko, which reads in part:

"Despite the Hollywood image, he was a normal, flawed human being, who continually evolved and certainly regretted things he had said and done during his life, just like the rest of us. So any discussion of removing his name from the John Wayne Airport should include the full picture of the life of John Wayne, and not a faded snapshot of a moment in time."