What’s the Jane Fonda brouhaha?

Jane Fonda endorsed our campaign on February 9. We subsequently publicized her endorsement along with Martin Sheen’s in our May 21 mailer to the Pacifica membership.

We were notified by Pacifica’s General Counsel Arthur Schwartz May 28 12:42pm that he had talked to Ms. Fonda and she wanted her “name immediately removed from any mailings related to New Day and Pacifica.”

We immediately contacted Ms. Fonda through the mutual friend who had communicated with her in February, and the misunderstanding was resolved with her privately.  There was no “outrage” involved–ever. We then emailed Mr. Schwartz the same day at 8:47 pm to thank him for bringing the issue to our attention and to let him know that the issue had been resolved with Ms. Fonda.

General Counsel Schwartz who is leading the Vote No movement inside Pacifica told the Pacifica national board the next day that the Jane Fonda misunderstanding was “some pretty high profile dishonesty”and invited the national board to tell the members about it.  

Some of the Vote No majority on the national board then sent out a tabloid-style scandal sheet “Jane Fonda Outraged” May 31, 7:56pm, to the Pacifica national membership in an attempt to get members to vote No and quoted Pacifica General Counsel Schwartz’ memo re New Day’s supposed dishonesty.

It saddens us to see progressives who should appreciate the advocacy work Jane Fonda and other Hollywood celebrity activists engage in trying to turn a private misunderstanding into a self-serving public scandal, making less likely Ms. Fonda and others’ future engagement of any sort with Pacifica. Our intention has always been to strengthen Pacifica and the community that it is part of. Pacifica needs to nurture and support our relationships with activists like Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte.