Jane Fonda honored at Michigan film festival amid protests
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Jane Fonda has been honored with a lifetime achievement award at a northern Michigan film festival founded by Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore.
The actress, author and political activist accepted the award Wednesday at the 14th annual Traverse City Film Festival, where she screened her HBO documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts.” Fonda also held a panel discussion with Moore in which she discussed gender equality, her concerns about President Donald Trump’s administration and her activism.
Dozens of Vietnam War veterans protested the festival over Fonda’s anti-war activism in the 1970s. The actress drew heavy criticism after she was photographed atop an anti-aircraft gun during a controversial 1972 visit to North Vietnam.
Traverse City veteran John Milks served with the Marine Corps in Vietnam from 1968-1969.
He said during the protest Wednesday that he thinks Fonda’s visit to Vietnam “raised the enemy’s morale and lowered ours.”
“She defected to the enemy side,” Milks said. “We felt pretty hurt by that.”
Fonda acknowledged making a “terrible mistake” by posing for the photo and has expressed regret over the message it sent to soldiers and their families.