Actress and activist Jane Fonda scrambled to walk back comments she made on Friday’s broadcast of “The View” — when she suggested “murder” as the appropriate response to legislation restricting access to abortion on demand.
As her words quickly sparked backlash, Fonda claimed — in a statement released later that same day — that the comments she’d made on the ABC midday talk show had been “in jest.” She then pivoted to accuse her critics of focusing more on jokes than on “the actual problem at hand.”
“While women’s reproductive rights are a very serious issue and extremely important to me, my comment on The View was obviously made in jest. My body language and tone made it clear to those in the room — and to anyone watching — that I was using hyperbole to make a point,” Fonda said in a public statement.
“Women across the country are facing real threats when it comes to our bodies, and people lose faith in our mission to protect women when others choose to focus on tangential issues and passing jokes instead of the actual problem at hand,” she added.
Friday’s conversation began with Fonda’s claim that, after decades of women in America having access to abortion on demand, she didn’t care what laws were passed or what rulings were overturned: “We’re not going back, I don’t care what the laws are. We’re not going back.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin, who has often claimed to be pro-life herself, dismissed Fonda’s comment as proof that she was an activist at heart. “That’s the activist speaking, and she probably will get a Nobel Prize.”
“The View” host Joy Behar pressed Fonda on that point, asking what she thought could be done in addition to simply staging protests on the issue.
“Well, I’ve thought of murder,” Fonda replied.
Joy: “Besides marching and protesting, what else do you suggest?
Jane: “Well, murder.” pic.twitter.com/DhaIxRASS3
— Ξvan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) March 10, 2023
But despite Fonda’s later claim that it was “clear to those in the room” that her suggestion had not been serious, Behar immediately stepped in to inform the audience that it was a joke — a move which prompted a glare from Fonda and laughter from everyone else at the table.
But her critics were not so sure that it was a joke.
“Not sure why the outrage over this. I applaud Jane Fonda for her honesty. They all feel this way. At least she had the balls to say it. The rest of them just claim things like wanting your guns to ‘stop crime.’ But this is how they really feel,” Jesse Kelly said.