Saturday, June 1, 2013

• Jane Fonda Calls Vietnam Photo 'An Unforgivable Mistake'

American actress and activist Jane Fonda is surrounded by soldiers and reporters as she sings an anti-war song near Hanoi during the Vietnam War in July 1972. (Photograph by Associated Press) 

Jane Fonda was always an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War. In 1972, theAcademy Award-winning actress and activist traveled to North Vietnam and was photographed laughing and clapping along with Vietnamese soldiers. What followed was a long-lasting wave of criticism and international outrage that earned Fonda the nickname "Hanoi Jane."

That Vietnam photograph has followed Fonda ever since -- and she has apologized for it publicly and privately many times over. In this clip from an episode of "Oprah's Master Class," she does so once again, calling her appearance in the photo "an unforgivable mistake" and sharing the details of how the photograph happened in the first place.

In the clip, Fonda explains that she was taken to a North Vietnam military site on the last day of her visit, even though she did not want to go. "I was an emotional wreck by [then]," she remembers. "I don't know if I was set up or not. I was an adult. I take responsibility for my actions."

That's when a small ceremony began. "These soldiers sang a song; I sang a song in feeble Vietnamese," she says. "Everyone was laughing. I was led to a gun site and I sat down. And I was laughing and clapping, and there were pictures taken."

As Fonda walked away from the site, she suddenly realized how those pictures would look to the rest of the world. "I understand the anger about that," she admits.

Years later, Fonda arranged to meet privately with a group of Vietnam veterans. Some of the veterans had attended the meeting eager to confront the woman they considered a traitor, and to fully express their hostility. Fonda remembers one man in particular. "[He had been with] the Delta death squad and he had an ace of spades," she says. "That was the card that would be thrown when he was going to kill someone, and he brought it with him [to the meeting]. He was intending to challenge me and throw it at my feet."

In the clip, Fonda reveals what happened during the meeting -- including how the man ended up tearing up his ace of spades and throwing it in the trash. "I don't mean that every single man there suddenly was 'fond of Fonda,'" she says. "But there was a lot of healing."

The moving experience taught Fonda a life lesson that extends beyond the Vietnam controversy. "We have to listen to each other, even when we don't agree, even when we think we hate each other," she says. "I learned so much from that meeting. It was a very difficult thing to do and it was one of the best things that I ever did in my life. Look what scares you in the face and try to understand it. Empathy, I have learned, is revolutionary."

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The List: Top 10 Jane Fonda mistakes
by By John Haydon-The Washington Times - December 23, 2012

While she has earned rave reviews and two Academy Awards in her acting career, Jane Fonda, who turned 75 on Dec. 21, is the first to admit she has made some big mistakes in her life. Miss Fonda has written that her three failed marriages were efforts to resolve her relationship with her father. She says all three men dominated her, much as her cold father, Henry Fonda, did. “Until age sixty I never had enough self-confidence to feel validated unless I was with a man,” she wrote in her memoirs. This week The List looks at Miss Fonda’s 10 biggest mistakes.

:arrow: 10. Roger Vadim — Miss Fonda wrote in her 2005 book, “My Life So Far,” that in the hedonistic 1960s she pimped for her first husband, French film director Roger Vadim, finding partners for group sex. “Sometimes there were three of us, sometimes more,” she wrote. “Sometimes it was even I who did the soliciting.” She was married to Vadim, 10 years her senior, from 1965 to 1973. “He trailed a redheaded call girl into … bed one night,” Miss Fonda said, and “it never occurred to me to object.”

:arrow: 9. Black Panthers — According to the book “Jane Fonda” by Patricia Bosworth, Miss Fonda opened her checkbook to the Black Panthers in the early 1970s. She paid a $2,000 phone bill, lent out her credit card and posted bail for Panthers who had been arrested. The Panthers promptly charged a car to her Visa card — then lost both the car and the card. One of them skipped town after she had paid $50,000 bail money.

:arrow: 8. Tom Hayden— After Roger Vadim, her next marriage was to left-wing social activist Tom Hayden from 1973 to 1989. It has been reported that the relationship was more like a political alliance than a marriage. Miss Fonda raised millions for her husband’s causes. On her 51st birthday, Mr. Hayden told her he had fallen in love with someone else, causing Miss Fonda to have a nervous breakdown.

:arrow: 7. Breast implants — Miss Fonda had breast implants at the age of 51 and then had them removed. Later, after clinching a six-figure deal to become the face of L'Oreal Paris anti-aging treatment cream, she urged fellow actresses not to have plastic surgery.

:arrow: 6. Starvation in Georgia — Miss Fonda was forced to apologize to Georgians in April 1998 after telling the United Nations that “children are starving to death” in her adopted home state, which she compared to “some developing countries.” “I was wrong. I shouldn’t have said what I said,” Miss Fonda said in a statement. She moved to Georgia after her 1991 wedding to Atlanta cable-television magnate Ted Turner.

:arrow: 5. “Jane Fonda Workout” — You probably thought Miss Fonda’s sole motivation for making those exercise videos was to get women in shape. Not so. In her famous 2000 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Miss Fonda admitted that the real purpose for the videos was to raise funds for then-husband Tom Hayden’s Campaign for Economic Democracy, which owned the rights to the tapes, which netted $17 million. Miss Fonda said she had mixed feelings about the tapes because they implied that thin is the only way to be. “But you helped so many women define their boundaries,” Miss Winfrey gushed, “and what you intended was for every woman to find herself.” “What I intended,” Miss Fonda said, “was to raise money for a political organization.”

:arrow: 4. Ted Turner— Third husband Ted Turner cheated on her just a month after they were married. In his 2008 memoir, Mr. Turner said he was “upset” when he discovered his wife’s conversion to Christianity, mostly because Miss Fonda hadn’t notified him about it. Their marriage lasted from 1991 to 2001.

:arrow: 3. “Barbarella” — Talk about exploitation. Director Roger Vadim portrayed Miss Fonda, his wife at the time, as an intergalactic sex kitten in the film “Barbarella” a campy 1968 sci-fi/fantasy film that was a box-office and critical failure on its release. It was a role Miss Fonda wanted to forget. The film is best remembered for her zero-gravity striptease. “A mix of poor special effects and the Marquis de Sade,” one reviewer said. In her autobiography, Miss Fonda says she was in agony during the making of the film.

:arrow: 2. “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” — This 1969 film starring Miss Fonda is about a dance marathon set in the Great Depression and must be one of the most depressing films you will ever see. If you have suicidal tendencies, stay away from this film. Gig Young, who won an Academy Award for his role in the film, committed suicide in 1978 after shooting and killing his wife of three weeks.

:arrow: 1. “Hanoi Jane” photo — A photo taken of Miss Fonda sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun targeting U.S. planes, laughing and clapping with enemy soldiers in 1972, haunted her throughout her career. It earned her the nickname “Hanoi Jane,” and she has been vilified by her critics ever since. “The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda’s daughter, sitting on an enemy [anti-]aircraft gun was a betrayal, ” she acknowledged in her autobiography. She told Oprah Winfrey: “
I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me. … It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility. It was the most horrible thing I could possibly have done. It was just thoughtless.”

Some of her better decisions: “At the end of my marriage to Ted Turner I became a Christian.” She also brought the play “On Golden Pond” to the screen in 1981. Miss Fonda purchased the rights to the play so her father, Henry Fonda, could portray the cantankerous Norman Thayer. The father-daughter rift depicted onscreen closely paralleled the real-life relationship between the two Fondas. Her father won an Oscar for his role.

:mrgreen: Hobbes_Wayne • 5 months ago −
Instead of attacking the liberal government that started the war and sent them to Vietnam, i.e. Johnson, she attack the conscripted soldiers. The majority of them had no choice. She and Hayden were anarchists and did not care one iota about either side in Vietnam, they simply want to exploit their celebritism without accountability, without credibility, only the manipulating the social conscience.

:mrgreen: cammo99 • 5 months ago −
They left out the movie she made about a disabled vet and the fact the studio had to pay off veterans not to protest her off set. Or the unflattering Hanoi Jane bumper stickers Post Commanders had to ban on private airmen and soldiers vehicles because the content was truthful but a bit over the top. Why isn't she in jail or at least she could have stayed in France? the battery she is sitting at had just recently fired on US war planes. Some people forgave and forgot when she "converted" to Christianity, but that's not how it works forgiveness between her and God is one thing, that doesn't add up to an endorsement of bad action and she has to prove herself. Even with good faith it will take a life time to forget all the harm she has done.

:mrgreen: Cm • 5 months ago −
Hanoi Jane together with communist Walter Cronkite kept the war as their own way to being famous.I believe her #1 mistake was coming back to America. She should have married someone in Hanoi and saved us from having to see her or listen to her. Maybe she could have made weight loss tapes for North Koreans

:mrgreen: Zureiter • 5 months ago −
Such a life with so much potential, yet so much folly. It sounds as though, unlike in years past where I recall her justifying some of the things on this list, Ms. Fonda has reconsidered her past life's bad decisions. 
Sometimes, the sole purpose of a person's life is to serve as a warning to others. Jane Fonda is just that sort of person. If I was her, I would spend my remaining years using whatever resources I had available to try to help, in any way, war veterans, especially those from the Vietnam War, doing it quietly and anonymously.

:mrgreen: Foxmom hobs • 11 days ago
She's regretful until she goes to her grave, but she has never apologized for any of her wrongs. She just can't say "I'm sorry". Give it a shot my Christian sister: I-m s-o-r-r-y.