USC student wokesters want John Wayne cancelled in absentia, or at least as far as a USC School of Cinematic Arts Wayne exhibit is concerned.

Mainly, I gather, because eight months ago the long-dead Wayne was targeted by progressives — not incorrectly — as a sexist, hawkish rightwing racist. Wayne’s objectionable views were part of a 1971 Playboy interview that resurfaced last February. Why this is blowing up now instead of last winter is anyone’s guess.

A week and a half ago a pair of SCA students, juniors Eric Plant and Reanna Cruz, made some noise on the USC campus by protesting the Wayne exhibit with a banner.

Eric Plant, Reanna Cruz and their anti-John Wayne protest banner. (Photo snapped by Leanna Albanese.)

USC Annenberg Media correspondent Leanna Albanese reported the protest on 9.27. “When you have an exhibit up that celebrates the idea and the legacy of someone that is blatantly racist, a white supremacist and directly says that he is a white supremacist…it seems as though SCA does not care about [its] students,” Plant told her.

“[The exhibit] being in SCA just makes me feel uncomfortable as someone who is Native American,” Plant explained. “Take down the whole exhibit. There’s no other way that this can be remedied. This is something that I’m going to fight for the entire time that I’m here.”

Three days after the Albanese story (or on 9.30) USC’s Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion Evan Hughes announced that the Wayne complaint would be discussed at a meeting on 10.2, or eight days ago. I wrote Hughes a couple of hours to ask if any course of action had been decided — crickets.

“And While We’re On The Subject,” posted on 2.7.19: “Film Twitter is shocked, shocked to discover that John Wayne was a racist, sexist militaristic smugface.

“My father always despised Wayne politically, and I never saw any reason to disagree. Especially for Wayne’s blind support of the Vietnam War. He was also a racist, which was unfortunately par for the course among guys of his ilk.

“But to be fair about it, you have to regard Wayne in a 20th Century context. Obviously his attitudes were and are prehistoric as far as the 2019 woke community is concerned, but he was an old-fashioned, 20th Century rightie. A traditionalist, a man’s man, a soft-spoken gentleman, “nice to the ladies”, a chip off the old Patton block. Obviously a dinosaur by today’s standards but…

“Wayne certainly wasn’t cut from today’s lunatic-conservative cloth — anti-science, corporate-fellating, religiously mule-like, stinking with hypocrisy. Ask Peter Bogdanovich or James Caan — you could relax with Wayne. He joked and smiled a lot and generally behaved like a human being. Which is another way of saying he wasn’t (at least in personal face-time terms) an asshole.

“Film journalist Lewis Beale once interviewed Roscoe Lee Browne, Wayne’s costar in Mark Rydell‘s The Cowboys. Browne told him that Wayne ‘always treated [Browne] with respect and as a professional.'”