Pattye Benson

Community Matters


QVC Cancels Jane Fonda’s Appearance . . . Is Forgiveness Ever Possible?

It may have been almost 40 years, but what is the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

Jane Fonda continues to feel the sting for her anti-Vietnam War behavior of the 1960s and 70s. During a 1972 visit to Hanoi in North Vietnam, Fonda made radio broadcasts critical of US war policy. While there, controversial photographs showed her sitting atop a Viet Cong anti-aircraft gun. The photos angered Vietnam War supporters and US veterans and earned her the name ‘Hanoi Jane’.

It may have been forty years since Fonda outraged many with her anti-war antics but some have never forgotten. Although Fonda has expressed regret in the intervening years for those 1972 images, we learned this weekend that her apologies might not have translated into forgiveness. The day before her Saturday appearance, Chester County based QVC cancelled Fonda’s scheduled appearance due to the “extremist” pressure from political groups and threats to boycott the cable shopping show. After viewers called to protest the appearance of Jane Fonda on QVC, the show cancelled her scheduled appearance.

On her website ( Fonda writes of the QVC cancellation, saying —

“I was to have been on QVC today to introduce my book, “Prime Time,” about aging and the life cycle. 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. 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 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. I am deeply grateful for all of the support I have been getting since this happened, including from my Vietnam Veterans friends.”

QVC is about making money – initially they thought an appearance on their cable-shopping network by Jane Fonda would register as sales. However, when faced with the possible boycott of their shopping channel (translated that could mean loss of revenue), QVC bowed to the pressure and cancelled Fonda’s appearance. According to many who support Fonda, QVC’s decision was based on demands from conservative political groups. Was this the right call by QVC to cancel Fonda’s appearance?

We preach forgiveness to our children but what about Jane Fonda . . . is forgiveness possible for her.

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