By Carolyn Kellogg / The LA Times / July 18, 2011
Jane Fonda writes that a planned Saturday appearance on QVC was canceled by the shopping network after viewers complained, citing Fonda’s political statements during the Vietnam War. Fonda was scheduled to promote her aging-with-spirit book “Prime Time: Making the Most of Your Life,” due out Aug. 9.
On her website, Fonda writes :
The network said they got a lot of calls yesterday criticizing me for my opposition to the Vietnam War and threatening to boycott the show if I was allowed to appear. I am, to say the least, deeply disappointed that QVC caved to this kind of insane pressure by some well funded and organized political extremist groups.
And that they did it without talking to me first. I have never shied away from talking about this as I have nothing to hide. I could have pointed out that threats of boycotts are nothing new for me and have never prevented me from having best selling books and exercise DVDs, films, and a Broadway play.
Most people don’t buy into the far right lies. Many people have reached out to express how excited they were about my going onto QVC and hearing about my book.
QVC has confirmed it canceled Fonda’s appearance but declined to say why or respond to her criticism of the action.
Fonda does herself a disservice by immediately blaming “well-funded and organized political extremist groups” — she doesn’t know where the calls came from, and was surprised by the cancellation.
But QVC has done itself a disservice by not allowing Fonda to appear. As she writes, she does not shy away from talking about her political convictions, actions and even regrets — they came up, without any rancor, during her talk at the closing session at Book Expo America in May, publishing’s biggest conference.
At that talk, Fonda spoke with enthusiasm about her book “Prime Time,” a kind of how-to guide for living the last act of life fully, on its own terms. One key tool is conducting what Fonda calls a “life review,” creating new goals and dreams. On the one hand, Fonda, now 73, occasionally loses her train of thought; on the other, she’s full of vigor and is entirely candid. When asked how she looks so good, Fonda replied, “Good genes — and a lot of money.”
Would QVC watchers really not be able to make up their own minds about Jane Fonda, nearly 40 years after her visit to North Vietnam?
Fonda’s last book, “My Life So Far,” was a bestseller. We’ll see later this summer if “Prime Time” finds its audience.