×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jane Fonda on Redemption for #MeToo Abusers: ‘F— It! Sweep the Floor at Starbucks Until You Learn!’

Even after living through decades in the entertainment industry and enough real-life twists to fill several biographies beyond her own, Jane Fonda has still found herself surprised by the force of the #MeToo reckoning that has rocked Hollywood to its core.

“I never thought I would live to see this happen,” Fonda marveled at an event in New York City for “Jane Fonda in Five Acts,” the HBO documentary detailing her storied life that premieres Sept. 24 on HBO. But in order for the movement to affect real change, she maintained, it has to include survivors of abuse outside Hollywood, center intersectionality, and prioritize pay equity in order to empower women from the start.

As for the perpetrators, Fonda had little sympathy. “Guys are trying to make a comeback and they haven’t done the work,” she said, citing Charlie Rose’s efforts to get back on television as an example. “It doesn’t matter how much time [they’ve been out of work],” she insisted. “If they haven’t done the work, then why should they come back?” Still, Fonda maintained that she has “tremendous compassion for boys and men,” but that “we just have to fix them, or at least show them the way.”

“Men are trained not to be empathic, not to be emotional. So it’s not easy what they’re trying to do,” Fonda said of men who make an actual effort to better themselves. “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.” In fact, Fonda said, “Why not do what the guys who lose their union jobs in Pennsylvania do? Work at Starbucks, f— it!”

“‘Oh, poor top-paid executives who can’t get his job back,'” Fonda added, voice thick with sarcasm. “F— 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,” she added to applause from the room, including Fonda’s friend and feminist activist Gloria Steinem.

For the most part, however, the event focused on Fonda and how “American Masters” director Susan Lacy set about bringing her life to vivid detail in the documentary. “I told [Lacy] I didn’t want it to be a documentary about a movie star,” Fonda told Variety. “I wanted it to really reflect all of who I am.” Fonda and  Lacy recovered decades of archival footage and material, including recordings of Richard Nixon disparaging Fonda’s activism in an experience that Fonda called “transformative.”

Then again, as she told Variety, “it’s not easy to look at how vacuous I was as a young girl. But it’s good, because it shows that you don’t have to get stuck. You can evolve, if you stay curious and keep working at it.”

And Fonda intends to keep evolving. “Now I think I’ll live longer than 90, because if Gloria [Steinem] is going to do it, I’m going to do it,” she wisecracked later, though there was a serious undercurrent to the joke. “Now that I’m almost 81 and I feel pretty good, I do want to last. I’ll be right there, nipping at your heels.”

More Scene

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]

  • NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11:

    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content