Actress Jane Fonda became the face of the anti-war left during the Vietnam War when she made a controversial visit to North Vietnamese troops fighting against American soldiers in the southeast Asian nation’s jungles.
That visit in 1972 culminated in Fonda posing for what became a highly publicized and well-known propaganda photo of the actress posing on an anti-aircraft gun while wearing a soldier’s helmet, a photo she now claims to regret taking.
According to The Washington Times, Fonda reportedly expressed her regret over that incident while speaking with TV critics about a new HBO documentary about her life that is set to premiere this fall on the premium cable network.
That program is titled “Jane Fonda in Five Acts,” and coincides with Fonda also starring with Lily Tomlin on the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” while Fonda, Tomlin and Dolly Parton are also in discussion about making a sequel to their 1980 hit movie “9 to 5.”
She remarked during the interview that she is still confronted by Vietnam veterans all of the time about that anti-aircraft gun photo, and that she welcomed the opportunity to discuss the matter with “an open mind and a soft heart.”
Fonda now claims to have “regret” for posing for the controversial picture, which she characterized as “thoughtless” on her part as it sent a “horrible” message to not only the soldiers and marines serving in the war, but also their families and friends back home.
She further claimed that her activism during the war had been sparked by speaking with U.S. soldiers in Paris, France, whose stories she said shook her from her belief that America always fought on “the side of the angels.”
Those stories from U.S. soldiers allegedly left her feeling betrayed and lied to by U.S. leadership at the time, and prompted her to do everything in her power to assist the movement to end the war.
That sort of attitude is a far cry from when she was named “Miss Army Recruiter” in 1954, having grown up a proud and patriotic daughter of famed actor and World War II veteran Henry Fonda.
At least now she appears to be recognizing that her anti-American actions during the Vietnam War caused quite a bit of pain for the men who fought and the families who supported them.
Unfortunately, while she may have admitted that she understands how painful her actions were for those people, she appears to have stopped short of recognizing how treasonous her cavorting with America’s enemies during a war truly was.
Furthermore, there is always the cynical possibility that she is only saying she regrets the photo now to help draw attention and publicity to her new documentary and other projects. We’ll have to wait and see if she says anything else in regard to her regrets, or better yet, offer an apology, before she can truly begin to atone for her behavior.