Jane Fonda

Posing for Hanoi Jane Photo a Terrible Mistake

Fifty-one years after Jane Fonda was photographed sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun, she admitted to Chris Wallace that posing for this photo was “a terrible mistake”, but not her fight against the Vietnam War.

When the 85-year-old double Oscar winner appeared on “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” from CNN. this week to promote his new movie »80 for Brady“, Wallace reflected on his decades of political activism and arguably the most controversial moment in Fonda’s public life – that infamous photo this resulted in Hanoi Jane’s enduring moniker and de facto Hollywood blacklisting until she made her comeback with “Fun With Dick and Jane” five years later.

When asked by Wallace how she feels about that photo in retrospect, Fonda called it a “terrible mistake.”

jane fonda hanoi

“I never wanted to go to military installations. It was the last day of my two week stay there. And I was like a limp noodle, what I had been through and what I had seen,” Fonda said. “And you know, maybe I was set up but I was an adult…I’m going to take responsibility for that.”

Fonda’s visit to Hanoi came amid North Vietnamese accusations that US troops were deliberately targeting levees along the Red River Delta to flood rice paddies and cripple the region’s food supply, which the Nixon administration denied it. Fonda noted that shelling near the dikes had stopped four months after her visit, but she still regretted going to a military zone.

“Hundreds of Americans had been to North Vietnam, diplomatic journalists, our Secretary of State Ramsey Clark, Vietnam veterans, but I said, ‘But a movie star hasn’t gone and maybe- be that if I go there, it will attract more attention.’ And that’s what he did,” Fonda continued. “And four months later the shelling stopped from the levees. So I think, well, what I did was fine, except I shouldn’t have gone to a military place.

Fonda has already apologized for the artillery photo in a blog post on her website in 2011, but she told Wallace that despite her regrets, she refused to bow to the “Hanoi Jane” backlash that accompanied the photo. While agreeing the photo was in poor taste, she believed much of the public pressure was an effort to get her to back down on her outspoken anti-war activism.

“I refused that they dissuade me from being actively against the Vietnam War,” she said. “I think they thought, ‘Oh, it’s this white girl who’s rich in privilege and famous…we can scare her,’ and they tried.”

“Who is talking to Chris Wallace? airs Sundays on CNN and streams on HBO Max.

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