A Jane Fonda movie hasn’t been shown at the Movie Palace in Hardin County, KY since the late 1980s and owner Ike Boutwell isn’t going to stat with “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”
The Korean War veteran, who trained pilots during the Vietnam War, tells the News-Enterprise that Fonda’s famous anti-Vietnam War statements and demonstrations make her a traitor to America in his eyes and he will not show a movie she’s involved with as long as he’s in charge of the theater.
“I trained hundreds of pilots to fly [during the Vietnam War], many of whom Ms. Fonda clapped and cheered as they were shot down. Our Constitution only mentions three crimes. Treason is one. That’s aid and comfort to the enemy,” says Boutwell.
Fonda was photographed atop an anti-aircraft in North Vietnam in 1972, where she was clapping and singing along with some Vietnamese soldiers. She has since said of the infamous picture:
I heard these words: “All men are created equal; they are given certain
rights; among these are life, Liberty and Happiness.” These are the
words Ho pronounced at the historic ceremony. I began to cry and clap. These young men should not be our enemy. They celebrate the same words Americans do. The soldiers asked me to sing for them in return … I memorized a song called Day Ma Di,
written by anti-war South Vietnamese students. I knew I was
slaughtering it, but everyone seemed delighted that I was making the
attempt. I finished. Everyone was laughing and clapping, including
me … Here is my best, honest recollection of what happened: someone (I
don’t remember who) led me towards the gun, and I sat down, still
laughing, still applauding. It all had nothing to do with where I was
sitting. I hardly even thought about where I was sitting. The cameras
flashed … It is possible that it was a set up, that the Vietnamese had
it all planned. I will never know. But if they did I can’t blame them.
The buck stops here. If I was used, I allowed it to happen … a
two-minute lapse of sanity that will haunt me forever.
But Boutwell still considers it traitorous and he says that having Fonda play Nancy Reagan is an even bigger reason to boycott “The Butler.”
“I just really think it’s a slap in the face to have a person of treason portray a patriotic lady, Mrs. Reagan. I just think that is throwing gas on the fire,” says Boutwell. “In life, you’ve got to stand for something, and that’s where I stand. It makes me feel that I’m honoring those who died for this country.”
“The Butler” is currently showing nationwide.