Roger L. Simon

Fonda Blogging

As someone who worked in Hollywood as a screenwriter throughout the period in question, and knew many of the players involved, I have to say I support “non-pro” Eugene Volokh’s view in his blog-fight with “pro” David Edelstein of Slate. For those who don’t know, the pro/non-pro distinction is frequently made in Variety to separate those in and out of the Industry.

Edelstein contends that actors like Jane Fonda suffered and in some sense had to reform in the eighties because they had “cozied up” to dictators during Vietnam. Not by my observation. Box office ruled as it always does (at least in the post “Blacklist” period when I have been working in Hollywood). In the biz of the biz, money talks and left/right walks. And it’s still that way. Clint Eastwood and Sean Penn, whose politics are about as opposite as they get, are perfectly happy to work together for the greater good of ka-ching! The ins and outs of Fonda’s career have much more to do with her psychology (and aging, of course) than they do with her socio-political views, which vary roughly proportionally to Bob Dylan’s.

As for Edelstein’s review of Team America, evidently he doesn’t like it. He’s perfectly entitled. Others see it differently. But perhaps we could cite the old saw – more apropos of this film than it is of others – “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one!”

UPDATE: Here’s something great from Hollywood – founded by actor Gary Senise. (hat tip: Alex Selim)