Jane Fonda: 'I Have Never Done Anything to Hurt My Country'

July 16, 2011 - 5:01 PM

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 14, 2011. (AP photo/Joel Ryan)

(CNSNews.com) - Actress Jane Fonda said in a statement posted on her website today that the QVC television channel cancelled an appearance they had scheduled with her today to promote her new book "Prime Time," blaming the cancellation on what she called "well funded and organized political extremist groups."

In the same statement Fonda said, "I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us."

In 1972, during the Vietnam War, Fonda took a two-week trip to North Vietnam, where she was photographed sitting on an antiaircraft gun that North Vietnamese forces otherwise used for shooting at American planes.

When she returned from her sojourn in Vietnam, as Time Magazine reported at the time, she accused U.S. forces of deliberately trying to bomb and destroy dikes, whose destruction could have caused the death of many civilians.

"The outcry was joined by Actress-Activist Jane Fonda," Time reported in its August 7, 1972 edition. "Returning from a two-week trip to Hanoi, where among other things she interviewed several American prisoners of war, she presented a 20-minute film of the visit at a New York press conference that purported to show several recent bomb craters in dikes near Nam Sach, 40 miles southeast of Hanoi, and further damage near the provincial capital of Nam Dinh.

"Hardly a dispassionate witness," Time continued, she said: 'I believe in my heart, profoundly, that the dikes are being bombed on purpose.' From firsthand observation and from pictures shown her by the North Vietnamese, she concluded: Not only the dikes are being bombed, but hydraulic systems, sluice gates, pumping stations and dams as well. The worst damage is done by bombs that fall on both sides of the dikes, causing deep fissures that weaken the base of the dikes.'"

A New York Times review of Fonda's 2005 memoir reported that Fonda apologized in the book for being photographed on the North Vietnamese antiaircraft gun.

"As she has before, Ms. Fonda apologizes for being photographed laughing and clapping while sitting on an antiaircraft gun in Hanoi," says the New York Times review. "(She writes that she absent-mindedly sat down in a moment of euphoria with her North Vietnamese hosts, and adds, 'That two-minute lapse of sanity will haunt me until the day I die.')"

In her statement today, Fonda said QVC had received calls criticizing her on her "opposition to the Vietnam War."

"I was to have been on QVC today to introduce my book, 'Prime Time,' about aging and the life cycle," Fonda said. "The network said they got a lot of calls yesterday criticizing me for my opposition to the Vietnam War and threatening to boycott the show if I was allowed to appear.

"I am, to say the least, deeply disappointed that QVC caved to this kind of insane pressure by some well funded and organized political extremist groups," said Fonda. "And that they did it without talking to me first. I have never shied away from talking about this as I have nothing to hide. I could have pointed out that threats of boycotts are nothing new for me and have never prevented me from having best selling books and exercise DVDs, films, and a Broadway play.

"Most people don’t buy into the far right lies," said Fonda. "Many people have reached out to express how excited they were about my going onto QVC and hearing about my book.

"Bottom line, this has gone on far too long, this spreading of lies about me! None of it is true. NONE OF IT!" said Fonda. "I love my country. I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us. I do not understand what the far right stands to gain by continuing with these myths. In this case, they denied a lot of people the chance to hear about a book that can help make life better, easier and more fulfilling. I am deeply grateful for all of the support I have been getting since this happened, including from my Vietnam Veterans friends."

QVC told the Associated Press that the cancellation of Fonda's appearance was a routine scheduling change. "It's not unusual to have a schedule change ... with little or no notice," QVC spokesman Paul Capelli told the news service.