The selection of Jane Fonda to play Nancy Reagan in the movie "Lee Daniels' The Butler" has sparked a backlash among military veterans who cannot forgive her for her actions during the Vietnam War.
"We're telling people that if you don't like Jane Fonda, don't go see the movie," Joe Davis, of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, told Newsmax.
Fonda gained the nickname "Hanoi Jane" in 1972 when she visited enemy territory in North Vietnam and was photographed sitting on top of an anti-aircraft battery.
"There are some veterans who can never forget and some who can never forgive Jane Fonda for what they saw as her treasonous actions during the Vietnam War. That anger is only deepened by her playing the wife of someone who they continue to hold in high esteem," says a representative of a veteran's organization who spoke on background with Newsmax.
The official said veterans respect former President Reagan as an individual who "built the issue [of POWs] from zero during his time as governor and then made it a priority when he was elected president."
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"Some will never see one of her movies because they do not want a nickel or dime going to her," the official said.
Some protests have been launched on Facebook pages, such as "The Butler Boycott," which urges a boycott of the movie "to let Hollywood know what you think about Jane Fonda acting as Nancy Reagan."
Another Facebook page — "Boycott Hanoi Jane Playing Nancy Reagan" — has more than 30,000 "likes," and says it's "time for vets and Americans to band together to make a statement and to educate some of the younger generation about who Hanoi Jane Fonda really is."
Rather than try to tamp down the criticism, Fonda has inflamed passions over her casting as the first lady.
In April, Fonda said veterans should "get a life" after hearing about the planned boycott of the movie and last month she wore a "Hanoi Jane" T-shirt during a film promotion.
Reagan historian Craig Shirley told Newsmax that Fonda "was definitely cast to push buttons, there was no doubt about it. They chose her specifically to get people talking about it, happily or, in the case of a lot of conservatives, unhappily."
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