Jane Fonda is an American actress who began her career on the big screen in 1960. Her Father, Henry Fonda was also an actor, giving her a privileged childhood. She was introduced to political activism while living in France, she was influenced heavily by French communists. She became an anti-Vietnam war activist with a strong belief in communism. Fonda made her thoughts on communism clear during a speech at the University of Michigan: “If you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees that we would someday become communist… I, a socialist, think that we should strive towards a socialist society, all the way to communism.”
Jane’s most famous incident was her trip to Hanoi, Vietnam in 1972. By this time in the war, 50,000 Americans had been killed. On this trip, Jane was socializing with the Vietnamese and was photographed sitting on an anti-aircraft that had been used to take down American planes. She also recorded a propaganda radio broadcast while in Vietnam. In the broadcast she compared Nixon to Hitler, claimed the Vietnamese were going to win the war, and said she had spoken to the American prisoners of war and said they claimed to be treated well by the Vietnamese. Many of the statements in the broadcast were scripted. The North Vietnamese communists used the broadcast to ruin the morale of the U.S. This incident made many Americans very mad, they labeled her as a traitor and “Hanoi Jane.”
When Fonda returned from Vietnam she was spotted wearing a necklace given to her by the Vietnamese, made out of melted down metal from an American plane that had been shot down. When information surfaced in the media about the prisoners of war being tortured by the Vietnamese, Fonda called the soldiers liars and claimed that they “are not heroes.” Her trip and statements outraged many, and started a large amount of controversy.
Today, Jane is still an actress, she stars in a Netflix series called “Grace and Frankie.” Although it has been a long time since she took that infamous trip to Vietnam, many Americans, mostly veterans, still hate her.
|Jane in Vietnam sitting on an anti-aircraft gun|
|What Jane looks like now|