Megyn Kelly Defends Jane Fonda Plastic Surgery Question After Backlash: "The Moral Indignation Is a Little Much"

Daytime host bites back at iconic actress after drama over former interview question

By Samantha Schnurr Jan 22, 2018 3:48 PMTags

Megyn Kelly has some words for Jane Fonda

The Megyn Kelly Today host addressed recent drama with the Oscar-winning actress during Monday's show as she referenced a contentious question she asked Fonda during an interview back in September 2017. 

"Now a word on Jane Fonda who appears to be fixated on an exchange I had with her months ago on this show," Kelly began on Monday's segment. It was during that exchange in September that the host asked the Grace & Frankie star about her past plastic surgery. "I read that you said you felt you're not proud to admit that you've had work done. Why not?" she broached the subject at the time. "We really want to talk about that now?" Fonda retorted. 

"Good attitude, good posture, I take care of myself. But let me tell you why I love this movie that we did, Our Souls at Night, rather than plastic surgery," she answered, pivoting away from the topic. 

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Now, Kelly wanted to share her reasoning for the question. "When she first complained publicly after the program and repeatedly, I chose to say nothing as my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business," she quipped. "However, Fonda was at it again last week including here on NBC and then again elsewhere, so it's time to address the 'poor me' routine."

As Kelly continued, seemingly uninterested in mincing words, "First, some context. Fonda was on to promote a film about aging. For years she has spoken openly about her joy in giving a cultural face to older women. Well, 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. Fonda herself knows this. She knows this and that is why, to her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show." The show then aired a montage of clips of Fonda discussing her plastic surgery to various outlets and her reasoning for it. 

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"Apparently, when she came here, however, again to promote her film about aging, I was supposed to discern that this subject was suddenly off-limits," Kelly continued. "Look, I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well and she rejected it. That's ok, but 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. After all, this is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage."

The host then went on to bring up Fonda's controversial Vietnam War history. "Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam war. 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," Kelly said live. "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."

Fonda has since explained she had not paid attention to where she was sitting, took responsibility for the photo and expressed her regret and remorse over the resulting image of herself sitting on the gun."It was never my intention to cause harm," she wrote on her website in 2011. "It is certainly painful for me that I, who had spent so much time talking to soldiers, trying to help soldiers and veterans, helping the anti-war movement to not blame the soldiers, now would be seen as being against our soldiers!"

In regard to her comments on prisoners of war, Fonda wrote on her website, "In my anger at the torture story that was being allowed to spread, at how the entire situation was being manipulated, I made a mistake I deeply regret. I said that the POWs claiming torture were liars, hypocrites, and pawns."

As for Fonda's radio broadcasts, she explained on her site, "There had been more than eighty broadcasts by Americans over Radio Hanoi before I made mine. I had decided to do the broadcasts because I was so horrified by the bombing of civilian targets and I wanted to speak to U.S. pilots as I had done on so many occasions during my visits to U.S. military bases and at G.I. Coffee houses. I never asked pilots to desert. I wanted to tell them what I was seeing as an American on the ground there. The Nixon Justice Department poured over the transcripts of my broadcasts trying to find a way to put me on trial for treason but they could find none."


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"By the way—she says she is not proud of America," Kelly added on her show, referring to an interview Fonda gave to the BBC in October 2017 during which she was asked if she is proud of America today. "No! But, I'm proud of the resistance," Fonda answered Stephen Sackur at the time. "I'm proud of the people who are turning out in unprecedented numbers and continue and continue over and over and over again to protest what Trump is doing. I'm very proud of them, that core."

Kelly said in conclusion, "So, the moral indignation is a little much. She put her plastic surgery out there. She said she wanted to discuss the plight of older women in America and honestly she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive."

E! News has reached out to Fonda's rep for comment. 

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)