DEBATE: Outrage Growing Over "Hanoi Jane" Fonda Being Cast as Nancy Reagan in New Film
A new movie based on the life of a White House employee who served as a butler to eight presidents is creating a firestorm of controversy due to potential casting. It comes after Jane Fonda was reportedly chosen to play former First Lady Nancy Reagan. The Hollywood actress is of course known for her time traveling to Vietnam during the war, denouncing American political and military leaders as war criminals, and sitting on an anti-aircraft gun that appeared to be trying to shoot an American plane. She has since apologized for the latter image, calling it 'thoughtless.'
Still, many are outraged by her being cast in the role of the largely-beloved former first lady. On today's America Live, Leslie Marshall and Lars Larson debated whether or not critics have a point.
"I think they should be outraged over it," Larson said. "The thing is, 'Hanoi Jane' has
no business playing Mrs. Reagan. Mrs. Reagan and her late husband are revered figures for conservatives, and the idea Hollywood thinks this young lady who called returning POWs liars and hypocrites and American leaders war criminals is absolutely outrageous; Hollywood should be ashamed at what they're doing."
Marshall disagreed, however, saying that Fonda's political history has no impact on what roles she should be cast in as an actress.
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"What Lars forgets, is that she's an actress. I mean, whether you like what she did in her personal life - and she has apologized, she's now a born-again Christian, and the last time I checked, most born-again Christians are conservatives and Christianity is based on the element of forgiveness ... What we need to remember is that [...] she's a brilliant actress."
Although she's apologized, Megyn Kelly maintained that the public's perception of Fonda as a liberal activist is still very much alive and well, citing the fact that there's 'not a day that goes by' where she doesn't receive emails on her show about Jane Fonda - a person and topic who she says she and her crew 'aren't even doing stories about.'
Larson said much of that retained bitterness toward Fonda spurs from the fact that the apology she ultimately issued came years later. "The thing is she took decades to come to that apoloigy in 2005 ... decades after the war," Larson said.
He continued, saying that actors and actresses who engage in political discourse should be just as culpable as any other public figure when it comes to 'paying' for their remarks and actions. "In their personal lives, if they choose to be politically active they have to pay for that [...] just as you and I do, Leslie, and just as Megyn would in the same kind of circumstances."
Furthermore, a statement released from Nancy Reagan's former press secretary, Sheila Tate, included the following: "Jane F is so well-known for her politics that this casting is ludicrous. She would likely depict Nancy Reagan as a caricature."
Where do you fall in the debate?