Actors: they think because they’re given a public forum, they should share their political views. However good their intentions, they’re often out of their depth — but that didn’t stop Jane Fonda. After becoming one of the nation’s sexiest thespians in her role as Barbarella, a futuristic stripping astronaut, Jane traveled to Vietnam in the winter of 1972 to investigate whether the United States had been purposefully bombing dikes to affect the water supply to more than 15 million Vietnamese.
She believed they had, and implored the American government to stop by going on Communist radio in Vietnam and screening a short film upon her return to the States. Jane was also photographed sitting astride a Vietnamese anti-air gun in a helmet, which she later apologized for. “I will go to my grave regretting the photograph of me in an anti-aircraft gun, which looks like I was trying to shoot at American planes. It hurt so many soldiers. It galvanized such hostility.” But it wasn’t just photos of Jane that incensed people. She remarked that American prisoners of war whom she had interviewed had not been tortured, despite claims to the contrary.
Jane was branded as a traitor, and she wouldn’t act again until 1977′s Fun With Dick and Jane. Pissed American veterans have had the last laugh, though: Fonda’s most recent starring turns have been in Hallmark-like dreck opposite Lindsay Lohan and Jennifer Lopez.