2020 Celebrity Says ‘Gay Rights.’ 1979 Jane Fonda Says ‘Hold My Beer, I’ll Show You How It’s Done.’

Not only did Jane Fonda attend San Francisco's White Nights Riots, but she gave this iconic interview at it.

In 1979, Jane Fonda’s persona was already etched in stone: A two-time Oscar winner who was more famous for being outspoken and frank about politics than for her remarkable body of work. So when a reporter on the scene at the San Francisco’s White Nights Riots in the aftermath of Harvey Milk’s assassination skeptically asks Fonda if gays were still being discriminated against, he and we know what’s coming. But then, he asks her if the gay community is using her organization, Campaign for Economic, for their own purposes, and Fonda lets it rip.

“I hope they use me! What am I here for if not to be used by good people for good things,” she says cheerfully. And the gay men in the background somehow manage to not break into spontaneous cheers, remaining aloof as an absolute icon blooms in front of them.

“What this movement is seeking is nothing less than respect and justice,” Fonda adds later, in response to a question about the future of gay rights. “If we’re going to survive as a world—and we may not, but if we do, they’re gonna win.”

And then, less than a year later, she gave us 9 to 5? What an epic understatement when Fonda smilingly says the gay community likes her. Jane, we love you!

About Mark Durane More Articles
When he was a little boy, Mark's mother set the house on fire. (She was like that.) He'll never forget the look on his father's face as he gathered him up in his arms and raced through the burning building onto the pavement below. And he stood there, shivering in his pajamas, and watched the whole world go up in flames. And when it was all over, he said to himself, "Is that all there is to a fire?"

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