Vietnam vets protest Jane Fonda's Broadway showing
By VERENA DOBNIK | Associated Press Writer
February 21, 2009
NEW YORK - Jane Fonda still can't shake that nasty image _ as "Hanoi
Jane" from the Vietnam War.
On Saturday, the 71-year-old actress was back on Broadway while
Vietnam veterans picketed the theater _ reminding passers-by that she
had once visited their Viet Cong enemy in Hanoi.
"Jane Fonda is a traitor," said Dan Maloney of the Gathering of
Eagles, which bills itself as a national, nonpartisan veterans group.
"She got on Hanoi radio and called every U.S. serviceman a war criminal."
About a dozen protesters stood behind police barricades in front of
the Eugene O'Neill Theater, where Fonda stars in "33 Variations." She
plays a musicologist in the Moises Kaufman play about reconciliation,
set against the woman's obsession with Beethoven's 33 variations on a waltz.
Outside, reconciliation was far from the demonstrators' minds.
"She's a waste!" declared Arthur Faiella, a 66-year-old Vietnam
veteran who said Fonda had "no idea what it's like to fight for your
life, outnumbered 4-to-1 by the enemy."
She was tagged with the sobriquet "Hanoi Jane" in 1972 after visiting
the North Vietnamese capital, where she made radio broadcasts
critical of U.S. policy and sat on an anti-aircraft gun laughing and
clapping, as she describes in her autobiography, "My Life So Far."
Though she still defends her anti-war activism, Fonda has
acknowledged that the incident was "a betrayal" of American forces.
"That two-minute lapse of sanity will haunt me until the day I die,"
Now in previews, "33 Variations" opens on March 9, marking Fonda's
return to Broadway after 46 years.
Vietnam vets rally against Jane Fonda where she makes return to Broadway
BY Veronika Belenkaya
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Saturday, February 21st 2009
It's been 37 years since Jane Fonda straddled a Viet Cong
anti-aircraft gun - but the controversy followed her to Broadway Saturday.
A group of Vietnam veterans gathered outside the Eugene O'Neill
Theatre, where the woman they call "Hanoi Jane" is appearing in "33
"Jane Fonda is a Communist traitor," the 20 vets shouted just before
the 2 p.m. performance, waving six large U.S. flags and peppering
their chants with ugly expletives.
"We want the American public to know we haven't forgotten what she
did," said retired cop Will Sekzer, 64, of Sunnyside, Queens, who
fought in Vietnam for two years.
Their anger didn't stop theatergoers from rushing into the matinee
with tickets that cost between $67 and $227.
"I'd want to see it even more," one fan from New Jersey said.
"I think it's silly. It was over 30 years ago. It's over," said John
Hobbs, of Rego Park, Queens. "She wasn't actually wrong."
Fonda was nicknamed Hanoi Jane for her anti-war protests and her 1972
trip to North Vietnam, where she broadcast anti-American propaganda
over Radio Hanoi.
The 71-year-old actress publicly apologized for her actions years
ago, but Sekzer and his buddies didn't buy it.
"[The Vietnamese communists] weren't able to continue fighting, but
thanks to the support of anti-war people and Jane Fonda personally,
they did," said Sekzer.
Fonda could not be reached for comment before the show.