Jane Fonda doesn't have many fans among Vietnam veterans, and that is especially true of former prisoners of war such as Ernie Brace.
The actress earned the nickname "Hanoi Jane" after visiting Vietnam as an anti-war activist in July 1972, when Brace was in year six of captivity there. This fall, in a move generating controversy, she will play conservative former first lady Nancy Reagan in "The Butler."
According to Fonda, Reagan is fine with the casting, and she told The Hollywood Reporter that her own response to protesters is to "get a life."
"I think Nancy's forgotten and forgiven a lot," Brace told Yeas & Nays, noting he has seen the photo that Reagan kept of him and fellow POW Sen. John McCain on her piano at home. "I have, [too], more or less. Some of the things [Fonda] supported, no, I don't really forgive."
Brace mentioned Fonda's infamous photo with a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun, for which she has apologized. Brace noted most anti-war protests "faded real fast" in 1973, when people "found out how we'd been treated," though Fonda at the time questioned reports of widespread torture.
"We had a few turncoats in the [prison] camp, and they actually carved model airplanes for the guards to practice shooting at, so I put her in the class with them," he said.