"She has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive," says Kelly.
After the two had an awkward exchange about what work the "Grace and Frankie" star has had done over the years back in September, Fonda has since dissed Kelly's line of questioning on "Today" and in a new Variety interview. Kelly, apparently, has had enough.
Saying Fonda "appears to be fixated on an exchange I had with her months ago on this show," Kelly went into a 3-minute tirade against the legendary actress earlier today. "When she first complained, publicly, after the program and repeatedly, I chose to say nothing," she continued, "as my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business. However, Fonda was at it again this week. It's time to address the 'poor me' routine."
"For some context, Fonda was on to promote a film about aging. For years, she has spoken openly about her joy in giving a cultural face to older women. The truth is, most older women, look nothing like Fonda, who is now 80," said Kelly. "And if Fonda really wants to have a discussion about older women's cultural face, then her plastic surgery is tough to ignore. Fonda herself knows this and that is why, to her credit, she has discussed her cosmetic surgery pretty much everywhere before coming on our show."
"I was supposed to discern that this subject was off limits. I gave her the chance to empower other women, young and old, on a subject which she purports to know well and she rejected it. It's ok," she added. "I have no regrets about that question. Nor am I in the market for a lesson from Jane Fonda on what is or is not appropriate. After all, this is a woman who's name is synonymous of outrage."
"Look at her treatment of our military during the Vietnam war, many of our veterans still call her 'Hanoi Jane' thanks to her radio broadcasts, which attempted to shame American troops," Kelly went on. "She posed on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our pilots. She called our POW's 'hypocrites and liars' and referred to their torture as understandable. Even she had to apologize years later for that gun picture, but not for the rest of it."
"By the way she still says she's not proud of America. So, the moral indignation is a little much," she said in closing. "She put her plastic surgery out there. She said she wanted to discuss the plight of older women in America. And honestly she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive."
Twitter exploded after her scathing speech, with many accusing Kelly of reverting to "Fox News habits" and being a "Mean Girl" towards Fonda:
If Megyn want to do whataboutism, then we should really talk about she built her television career on ugly race baiting. Black Santa, New Black Panthers, "inner cities" and lots more https://t.co/saNOJABzU2 https://t.co/gg1qhTx4n9— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) January 22, 2018
Just rename #MegynKellyToday, Megyn Kelly's Fox Mean Girl Hour. That attack on Jane Fonda was one of the worst and embarrassing things I've seen on a NBC News program.— Jason Elias (@Zebop) January 22, 2018
ICYMI, here's Megyn Kelly's embarrassing segment on Jane Fonda. I have never seen anything so petty coming from anyone at @NBCNews. Lashing out at the slightest hint of public criticism is conduct unbecoming of a news anchor. Hiring her was a huge mistake! pic.twitter.com/Hwzy4D9604— Shannon Fisher (@MsShannonFisher) January 22, 2018
Hmmm. Megyn Kelly takes on Jane Fonda's criticism of her plastic surgery question, bringing up her "Hanoi Jane" nickname for anti war activism on Today show. Are we seeing Kelly's old Fox News habits resurface?— Eric Deggans at NPR (@Deggans) January 22, 2018
Thought the @TODAYshow was supposed to be light & uplifting. Megyn Kelly has turned it into something dark & sinister. SAD— Tom Blue (@lovemrpibb2) January 22, 2018
Jane Fonda is a feminist icon, an artistic genius, an exercise mogul, a national treasure. Megyn Kelly is famous for assuring children on a 10pm cable news broadcast that Santa Claus is white.— Seth Abramovitch (@SethAbramovitch) January 22, 2018
In a segment on her show, Megyn Kelly just escalated the beef between herself and Jane Fonda. Kelly brought up Fonda's Vietnam War statements and actions. This is crazy and not good?!— Chris Harnick (@chrisharnick) January 22, 2018
Well, that was cringeworthy @megynkelly— Theresa Connolly (@tec1421) January 22, 2018
I will be ending my @TODAYshow viewing at 9 am and picking back up at 10 am after watching that disgusting display this am by @megynkelly - first the “platonic” comment then calling out Jane Fonda #classless #unprofessional— Maria Torre (@mpt88) January 22, 2018
Megyn Kelly Today has to be the most cringeworthy hour of television that has ever existed. That shit with Jane Fonda just went next level petty.— Matt (@mavandorax) January 22, 2018
This is quite a beef between Megyn Kelly and Jane Fonda regarding plastic surgery. And, Megyn clearly wants to milk it. @MegynTODAY— wizzy (@wizzytizzy) January 22, 2018
@nbc— Maraudermick (@Maraudermick) January 22, 2018
Just watched Megyn Kelly trash Jane Fonda ( past history-Nam). Time for her to go to Fox News?
Gosh @megynkelly. You are trying to shed the taint of Fox News. Then you fall back on calling her "Hanoi Jane" when @Janefonda criticizes you. Big mistake. Is the @TODAYshow brand really about right-wing culture war tropes now? https://t.co/6j9kYvVGRx— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) January 22, 2018
If you had Megyn Kelly in your “brings up Hanoi Jane in 2018 to slam Jane Fonda” office pool, some good news this morning...— Jim Maiella (@jimmaiella) January 22, 2018
WTF @megynkelly please tell me again how you support WOMEN?What you did to @Janefonda, your elder sister was sickening. Btw, I lived through Vietnam era, some of your facts was FOX BS, go back to them!@TODAYshow @NBCNews #overmegyn— Dy (@dy4colts) January 22, 2018
@TODAYshow @megynkelly Megyn’s tired, sexist line of questioning was an insult to @Janefonda and all women. Her vindictive attempt to shame her at the end of the show for speaking out? #classless One less viewer.— maria elena (@connollymoon) January 22, 2018
Megyn Kelly's attack on Jane Fonda made Megyn Kelly look so, so small. Please NBC, this show is killing us every morning. #MegynKellyToday— Jason Elias (@Zebop) January 22, 2018
The host still had a few people in her corner, however, who applauded her for standing up against the actress:
I think Megyn Kelly was right on about Jane Fonda!!! I still to this day won't watch her films because of the shameful way she acted and continues to act about this country. She still says she isn't proud of this country but she sure doesn't mind taking our money!!!!— Cathy Stansell (@catspaws01) January 22, 2018
Well said @megynkelly— Kathy Spencer (@katannspence) January 22, 2018
Well said today about Jane Fonda!!! @megynkelly— Susan (@mumlady3) January 22, 2018
You did a great job today giving it back to jan Fonda @megynkelly— harold ratliff (@RatliffHarold) January 22, 2018
Good for Megyn Kelly. This might be the first time (at least in a long while) that a daytime audience has heard about Jane Fonda's traitorous behavior. https://t.co/dHO9sFWshI— Ellen L. Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) January 22, 2018