Throughout her lengthy career, actress Jane Fonda has held many, many different kinds of roles. But now that she is reaching the end of her career, she has had time to look back and examine it from start to finish. But there is one part of her career that she regrets entirely, and it has to do with the actions and words she used to earn the nickname “Hanoi Jane” during the Vietnam War.
During an interview with Megyn Kelly before she was fired by NBC, Kelly asked Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery. She also told Fonda that the actor was in no position to criticize other people given what she did during the Vietnam War. That’s when Fonda opened up again about how much she regretted her actions during the war.
Kelly told her audience at NBC, “Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam War. Many of our veterans still call her ‘Hanoi Jane’ thanks to her radio broadcasts, which attempted to shame American troops. She posed on an antiaircraft gun used to shoot down our American pilots.”
Kelly, who used to have a job with Fox News before she left that only to get fired from NBC, said that Fonda, “called our P.O.W.s’ hypocrites and liars’ and referred to their torture as ‘understandable.’ And she said that she ‘had to apologize years later for that gun picture, but not for the rest of it.”
The infamous photo shows Jane Fonda wearing a helmet while posing on an enemy antiaircraft gun.
Fonda has been open about her regret concerning the actions that earned her the name of Hanoi Jane for a while now. Back in 2011, she wrote on her website the following:
“There is one thing that happened while in North Vietnam that I will regret to my dying day. I allowed myself to be photographed on a Vietnamese antiaircraft gun. I want to, once again, explain how that came about. I have talked about this numerous times on national television and in my memoirs, ‘My Life So Far,’ but clearly it needs to be repeated.”
Fonda made it clear that she was not the only person to visit North Vietnam during the war.
“Journalists, diplomats, peace activists, professors, religious leaders and Vietnam Veterans themselves” all traveled to the enemy territory to try to put a stop to the long, painful war.
She added, “It was not unusual for Americans who visited North Vietnam to be taken to see Vietnamese military installations, and when they did, they were always required to wear a helmet like the kind I was told to wear during the numerous air raids I had experienced. When we arrived at the site of the antiaircraft installation (somewhere on the outskirts of Hanoi), there was a group of about a dozen young soldiers in uniform who greeted me. There were also many photographers (and perhaps journalists) gathered about, many more than I had seen all in one place in Hanoi. This should have been a red flag.”
Fonda claims she was tricked into sitting on the gun, so it could be used against the United States. She only realized afterward the horrible mistake she had made.