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Canyon Country man urges: Don’t forget ‘Hanoi Jane’

Upcoming film featuring Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan prompts veteran to call for boycott

Posted: August 1, 2013 5:44 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2013 5:45 p.m.
 

Larry Reyes of Canyon Country, grew up in a military family. His father was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army. Reyes joined the Navy and served 20 years, including stints in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, before he retired in 2001.

Reyes was 10 in 1972 when actress Jane Fonda visited Hanoi, North Vietnam, where she was photographed seated on an anti-aircraft battery and made 10 radio broadcasts denouncing American political and military leaders as “war criminals.”

She earned the nickname of “Hanoi Jane” from Americans outraged by her actions. The Vietnam War, which ran from 1955 to 1975, cost the lives of more than 47,000 American troops.

Reyes grew up hearing the stories of what Fonda had done in North Vietnam.

“I learned to despise what she had done at an early age,” he said of the two-time Best Actress Oscar-winner.
For years Reyes quietly boycotted Fonda movies and products.

Her fame waned, but in the 1980s it surged anew when she launched a line of exercise videos and products.

“It seemed that America had forgotten what she had done,” said Reyes. “It blew my mind that so many people were willing to forget.”

However, when Reyes learned last year that Fonda would be playing Nancy Reagan in the film “The Butler,” he could no longer keep quiet about his anger over Hanoi Jane.

The former Navy man launched the Facebook page “Boycott Hanoi Jane Playing Nancy Reagan.”

Reyes was incensed that someone he considered a traitor to America would be cast to portray Nancy Reagan.

“When I heard about it I thought, ‘enough is enough.’ For her to play someone like Nancy Reagan, who is a patriot and a conservative, is a way to rub our (veterans’) noses in her anti-American beliefs,” said Reyes. “All she ever did was promote communism. She only loves America when she can make money.”

Reyes has garnered national attention with his Facebook page, with stories in the Hollywood Reporter and television appearances on Fox News on “America Live with Megyn Kelly” and “Fox and Friends.”

His page went from 400 likes in April to 22,740 likes on Thursday.

Reyes is further outraged that Fonda chose to wear a Hanoi Jane T-shirt when doing promotion for “The Butler.”

“She smugly wears that protest shirt to give us (veterans) even more of a slap,” he said. “She has no morality at all.”

Reyes is happy with the response to his Facebook page. He says he knows there are many more people who feel as he does about Fonda — and many more who need to be educated about Fonda’s past actions.

“I can never stop this movie, but what I can do is educate people about who Jane Fonda is,” he said.

Reyes hopes people will take to the theaters with educational signs about Fonda on Aug. 16 when the film opens.

“It might keep some people from seeing the movie,” he said.

He has plans to protest the film at a theater in the Santa Clarita Valley, either in Valencia or Canyon Country, and hopes to attract Southern California television stations to cover his protest.

mbuttelman@signalscv.com

 

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