This clip of Jane Fonda defiantly calling out discrimination in the 1970s is more relevant than ever

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Thursday 10 September 2020 15:30
news
(Screengrab: Twitter)

Jane Fonda is one of the most consistently radical celebrities in Hollywood.

Even at 82, the actor is still attending protests and unabashedly supporting progressive movements – just last year she was arrested at a climate change demonstration and she recently spoke of the importance of respecting people’s pronouns.

And a resurfaced video confirms this is nothing new: Fonda has been an ally for as long as she’s been in the public eye.

Video posted by Twitter user @sarahsbian shows Fonda being interviewed in 1979 about the LGBTQ+ community by a reporter who seems somewhat hostile to their fight for equality.

“The gays in San Francisco, they’re very powerful and very strong,” the reporter says to Fonda.

“Do they need your support? Are they still being discriminated against?”

“Oh absolutely,” replies Fonda, not missing a beat. She continued:

Culturally, psychologically, economically, politically. Gays and lesbians are discriminated against. 

They are a very powerful movement, especially in San Francisco and they don’t need me but they like me. 

They like our organisation, the Campaign for Economic Democracy because they know working together we can be stronger than either entity by itself. 

So it’s really healthy that we try to bring these things together. 

The reporter then tried to suggest that LGBTQ groups were “using” Fonda for her economic campaign, to which she retorted:

I hope they use me. What am I here for if not to be used by good people for good things? 

I’m part of an organisation and you could also be cynical, as you are, and ask, is it the organisation using me but you could also think, aren’t I using the organisation, just the way the gays and lesbians here are using the organisation they’re a part of?

It helps give us perspective, it helps us keep our values intact, it increases our power, because as individuals we don’t have very much but all together we have a lot of power. 

So everyone uses. The point is what are you using for? If it’s just for greed or selfish reasons, it’s one thing but if you’re using for good and positive things, why not? 

The reporter finished by asking Fonda how she envisaged the future of the gay movement in the USA.

“All we can know is that what this movement is seeking which is nothing less than respect and justice and stopping discrimination because of sexual preference,” she responded.

“You’re on the side of the angels so it’s just and right”.

The clip struck quite the chord with 2020 viewers.

People were glad Fonda was getting the celebration her years of activism deserves.

Others admitted they didn’t know much about Fonda but were impressed.

And another famous Jane even chimed in…

People were relieved to find it was just business as usual after seeing her name trending.

So it is possible to live by your principles?

Heartening.

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