Despite professing a “what other people think of me is none of my business” mantra, the namesake host of “Megyn Kelly Today” took three minutes of January 22 airtime to rebuff criticism she’s received from Jane Fonda. “Honestly, she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive,” Kelly said.
Tension between the host and two-time Oscar winner dates back to a September 2017 appearance on Kelly’s show. While promoting “Our Souls at Night” alongside co-star and Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford, Fonda was asked why she’s “not proud to admit” that she’s had plastic surgery. “We really want to talk about that now?” Fonda replied at the time.
Last week, Fonda told Variety that she was “stunned” by Kelly’s question — “It was so inappropriate. It showed that she’s not that good of an interviewer,” she said — and, when “Grace and Frankie” co-star Lily Tomlin joked about Fonda’s face lifts on “Today,” quipped, “Who are you, Megan Kelly?” “Megyn Kelly Today” is the third hour of daily “Today” programming.
“I have no regrets about that question, nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is and is not appropriate,” said Kelly this morning (watch the full statement below). “After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage,” a description many would apply to Kelly, a 12-year veteran of Fox News.
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Kelly described Fonda as “fixated” on the moment, carrying out a “‘poor me’ routine.” “Fonda was on to promote a film about aging…the truth is most older women look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80, and if Fonda really wants to have an honest discussion about older women’s cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore.”
According to the host, Fonda “rejected” the opportunity Kelly provided “to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well.” “To her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show,” Kelly said. “Apparently, when she came here…I was supposed to discern that this subject was suddenly off-limits.”
Then Kelly reprimanded Fonda as unpatriotic, earning applause from her audience with the line, “Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam War.” She continued, “Many of our veterans still call her Hanoi Jane thanks to her radio broadcasts, which attempted to shame American troops. She posed on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our American pilots. She called our POWs hypocrites and liars and referred to their torture as understandable. Even she had to apologize years later for that gun picture, but not for the rest of it. By the way, she still says she is not proud of America. So the moral indignation is a little much.”
Fonda was at Sundance this weekend, where she spoke at the January Respect Rally. That night, the documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” had its world premiere at the festival, ahead of its HBO debut. She has never hesitated to express a controversial point of view, telling MSNBC host Chris Hayes in October that people are currently concerned with sexual misconduct “because so many of the women that were assaulted by Harvey Weinstein are famous and white.”