"Thoughtless In Vietnam": Actress Jane Fonda Shares Regret About Her Infamous 1972 Visit To The War-Torn Country

Date July 27, 2018 15:12

In 1972, actress Jane Fonda was embroiled in an international crisis that would forever scar her career and earn her an infamous place in the American history. Tired of the violence in Vietnam, she decided to pay the war-torn country a visit and see the truth for herself.


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She concluded that American forces were unjustly bombing dike systems in Vietnam, and implored them to stop. After the picture of her posing with Northern Vietnamese troops and an anti-aircraft gun, many Americans were enraged, some even suggested that Fonda should be tried for treason. More than anything else, this picture earned her the nickname, 'Hanoi Jane'.


Forty years on, Fonda’s actions in Vietnam still haunt her. And while she remains unapologetic for getting involved in the mass revolt against the Vietnam war, she regrets ever taking this particular picture.

In a new light

In an interview with Variety, Fonda said she realized the picture sent the wrong message to the Americans. The aircraft gun in question was one of the many, used to shoot American airplanes, and her posing with them suggested she supported the killing of American soldiers.

I’m proud that I went to Vietnam when I did, but what I say in the film is true: I am just so sorry that I was thoughtless enough to sit down on that gun at that time. The message that sends to the guys who were there and their families...It’s horrible for me to think about that.


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She also said that growing older had provided her with a greater perspective on life and, if offered the opportunity to visit Vietnam again, she would have done things differently. At 80, she is able to reflect on the past and understands her past actions and the consequences better.

I’m only 80 and there are still a few decades to go if I’m lucky, and why be alive if you’re not learning, and growing, and changing? You may not be able to make your life longer, but you can make it deeper and wider.

Not everyone forgave her

Commentators on Twitter are still sharing their thoughts on Fonda’s latest interview. And while some observers still feel she should be branded the enemy of the state, insinuating she supported the killing of American soldiers, others feel she may get that part of her history wiped clean with a Presidential pardon.

Thousands of American soldiers lost their lives in what is still regarded as one of the most disastrous conflicts the country has been involved in. Fonda may not have participated in the violence, but her actions made her a part of the war's fallout.

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