Vietnam vets protest Jane Fonda's Broadway showing

February 21, 2009 6:20:36 PM PST
It's been decades, but Jane Fonda still can't shake her "Hanoi Jane" image from the Vietnam War. About a dozen Vietnam veterans and other protesters on Saturday picketed the theater where the 71-year-old actress is starring in the Broadway play "33 Variations," telling 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."

Fonda 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," she wrote.

Fonda currently plays a musicologist in the Moises Kaufman play about reconciliation, set against the woman's obsession with Beethoven's 33 variations on a waltz. It marks her return to Broadway after 46 years.

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