The actor and activist says accused sexual harassers who don’t earn their comebacks ‘don’t belong in the boardroom.’
Jane Fonda wants men toppled by #MeToo to actually put in the work before they slither back.
“It doesn’t matter how much time (they’ve been out of work),” the 80-year-old actor and activist said Thursday during an event promoting her new HBO documentary, “Jane Fonda in Five Acts,” according to Vanity Fair. “If they haven’t done the work, then why should they come back?”
Fonda cited by way of example Charlie Rose, the disgraced TV personality fired by both CBS and PBS in November after allegations of sexual harassment. In a motion earlier this month to dismiss a lawsuit brought by three women, Rose claimed the plaintiffs were “exploiting the #MeToo movement.” Meanwhile, editor Tina Brown told Page Six in April that she’d been approached about (and passed on) producing a show in which Rose interviews fellow men outed in #MeToo scandals.
Other powerful men accused of sexual harassment and assault have begun testing the waters for a potential comeback. Louis C.K., for example, made an unannounced return to the Comedy Cellar last month — allegedly making a joke about rape whistles — nine months after he vanished from public life having admitted to masturbating in front of women without their consent. And former “Today” host Matt Lauer, axed by NBC in November, “truly believes that a television comeback is possible,” a source told Us Weekly in July.
Fonda suggested she felt for men who were making the effort. “Men are trained not to be empathic, not to be emotional. So it’s not easy what they’re trying to do. But they have to try to do it! So it doesn’t matter if it’s been two weeks or two years. It just matters what kind of changes they’ve gone through,” she said. “Why not do what the guys who lose their union jobs in Pennsylvania do? Work at Starbucks — f–k it!”
She continued on a sarcastic aside: “Oh, poor top-paid executives who can’t get his job back … F–k it! Sweep the floor at Starbucks until you learn! If you can’t learn, you don’t belong in the boardroom. And there are plenty of women who do belong in the boardroom.”
Fonda also offers candor about her own plastic surgery in her HBO doc, People magazine reports, indicating she has mixed feelings about having work done around her eyes and jawline.
“On one level, I hate the fact that I’ve had the need to alter myself physically to feel that I’m OK,” Fonda reportedly says in the film. “I wish I wasn’t like that. I love older faces. I love lived-in faces. I loved Vanessa Redgrave’s face.”
“I wish I was braver,” she adds. “But I am what I am.”
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