tv BBC News Special - Americas Security... BBC News December 20, 2017 4:30am-5:01am GMT
and is expected to vote again wednesday morning. if passed, the bill would be the first big legislative win of the trump presidency. in her first broadcast interview, a former assistant to the hollywood producer, harvey weinstein, has told the bbc how she was warned about his behaviour, and went on to warn other women that he could behave in an inappropriate manner. he denies all allegations of non—consensual sex. a bus carrying foreign tourists to mayan ruins in mexico has crashed killing at least twelve people, including a child. the bus had been travelling to the eastern tip of the yucatan peninsula, when it veered off the road and flipped over. local officials said eighteen passengers were injured. now on bbc news, hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk. i'm stephen sackur. as pa rt of
as part of our celebration of 20 yea rs i have as part of our celebration of 20 years i have beenjoined by an audience in the heart of westminster to meet the special guests, fitness guru jane fonda. in a career spanning six decades, she has never shied away from speaking her mind. a trait not always welcomed in the movie industry wet sexism and abusive behaviour are currently in the spotlight like never before. how dark is the darkness behind hollywood's cleats? jane fonda, a very warm welcome. let me begin by asking you about the ark of your
recent career because it look like you pretty much stopped making movies. i had no intention coming back. i left the business. when you are married to ted turner, who needs to have a job? it is too interesting. i had five years writing my memoir and then decided i may find joy in act again. what gave you that believe? the process of living with ted for ten years and writing a memoir. he gave me a lot of confidence and writing my memoir taught me a lot also about myself and about life. i wanted to take on the challenges of act thing again. had you forgotten some of the frustrations? you stop acting in a 1990. it had nothing to do with what
was going on in hollywood. when you are in the business as long as i have you get used to things. you have you get used to things. you have also said that the movie business does not cater for the ageing demographic. your face business does not cater for the ageing demographic. yourface and the faces of people growing older is simply not properly represented. i think it is changing but it is very slow. older women are the fastest demographics in the world. i think that the growth of television has been very helpful. it is a much more forgiving medium. it is a much smaller screen and more forgiving for ageing faces. you are in a and tv series now about two women who
have been left by their husband. there has been the golden girls, there have been movies of older people, there have been television stories. but grace and frankie, partly because we have such fun and such spunk, even though we are older, we go into the business of making vibrators for older women! because, you know, arthritis! you have to have something where you don't have to move your wrists around a lot! and the numbers of the speed have to be big enough so you can see it at night! it has to be lit up. things like that. we have fun with the fact that we are older and it is that that i think people of all ages are really enjoying. the fact that we have a good time. i can tell you, that's not content that we get on hardtalk too often! well, let me be the first!
let me ask you about the movie industry... they'll probably cut it out! no! i guarantee you we will not. you havejust made a movie and i have seen it. speaking of old people, you mean! speaking of old people... you and robert redford, you famously made three movies in the 70s, that established you ? starting in the 60s and 70s. you were one of the most glamorous screen couples one could think of. barefoot in the park? yes. and you have come back with robert redford to make a new movie. 0ur souls at night. it's beautiful, it's called 0ur souls at night. based on the book by kent haruf. it's a lovely story about two people in a tiny little town in the great plains. they kind of know each other but not very well. it's about friendship and companionship. we're both widows. and i know there is not that much time ahead of me and i don't want to spend it being lonely. and so i have the guts to walk over to his house and knock on his door and say,
would you come over and sleep with me? laughter. and he looks shocked. well, it's not about sex. no, it is aboutjust talking, lying in bed and talking. because it is so hard now to be by yourself. and so very, very slowly we bare our souls at night. and it develops into a real love and it is just beautiful. and it is getting great reviews. you sound so enthusiastic about the work you are doing right now, but we speak at a time when the movie business, hollywood, is under such intense scrutiny because of an extraordinarily dark, horrible underbelly that we see within the industry. and, of course, the thing that i am referring to most directly is the scandal, the slew of accusations surrounding harvey weinstein. thank god it is being talked about.
this is hardly unique in hollywood. it is very common, just as it is in every country of the world, in every aspect... in business, government, it is the entitlement of too many men and it is epidemic and when they are famous and powerful like harvey, then it gets talked about. and so it is really important that those women have been brave enough to come out. indeed, a sort of logjam has broken and the accusations... of course, he is denying all of them that concern nonconsensual sex. like bill cosby, they always deny it. nonetheless, you say that people are speaking out and they are now. but the problem is there was silence when it is clear that people knew of these behaviours but did not talk in public about them for year upon year. why? why don't they talk about it? because he's powerful. because they are scared. who are the women that he preyed on?
and preys on? young woman. young women. most of these women were in their 20s when it happened. vulnerable, afraid that if they say anything or do anything, it will ruin their career. i found out about it a year ago and i wish that i had spoken out. why didn't you? well, it didn't happen to me. i understand that, but nonetheless... i didn't want to expose... and i will admit that i should have been braver. and i think from now on, i will be when i hear such stories. but the interesting thing is, you are one of the most outspoken activists in the movie business. indeed, in the creative industries in the united states. i am just wondering why, when you reflect back on it, why you felt it wasn't right that you could not speak about a year ago when you heard a lot of this stuff? i think it is because if i had, i would have had to out someone who wasn't prepared to speak out.
she subsequently has. if it had happened to me, i would. it has happened to me but long, long ago. i have known harvey, i was already old by the time i met harvey. and harvey or bill or any of those predators, they go for young people. iam old. but you are scared because you feel like you are not going to be able to have a career, you will never work again because they have so much influence. but there is another reason that is even more insidious, that you won't be believed. it is very hard to come forward when you have been a victim of sexual abuse because you get dragged over the coals, you have to prove, you have tojustify... we have to start believing these women and standing up and standing for them and protecting them. because it seems the system in hollywood did encourage complicity. there were people, and it has to be said, some women as well as men, who turned a blind eye, who knew what was going on.
because he was so powerful. yes. let's not keep saying hollywood. you know... what should we say? the world. the world of business, and science, of academia, of government. this is rampant. it is kind of an escape to say it's a hollywood promise. it was true of bill cosby. there were people at his network who knew that he was being supplied by girls all the time and did not speak and it has to do with, he brings in the money and he is very powerful so you keep your mouth shut. i hope that what is happening right now, maybe it is becoming more of a big deal because we now have a president who we know does the same thing or did the same thing. and so it is coming out. so let this be the beginning,
the time that if it happens to us, we speak, we believe those who speak and if we are men, we side with women and help and support us. and if you are a predator, stop doing it. one thing i should add, bill cosby, i believe, continues to deny the many allegations... so does... they all do. what are they going to say? yes, it's true, i did all these horrible. . ? of course they are going to deny it. sure, we just need to get that on the record. what i want to get to with you on this subject, because you have throughout your life spoken your mind. but as you alluded to in that answer to me, you didn't go public with abuse that you suffered and also i think in the past you said you were fired from jobs because... 0nejob, i got fired... i couldn't even be a secretary. i got fired as a secretary
because i wouldn't sleep with the boss. but i had one experience with a french director who was going to cast me in a role that required that the character have an orgasm and he said that in order to know whether i should be cast, he had to find out what kind of orgasms i had! and i was 21. i didn't say anything, i did laugh. i got the part, although i didn't give him what he wanted. i didn't say anything. it never even occurred to me that i could in those days. i am talking 1959 or 60. one of the things that struck me was that the weinstein issue, that statement in which he said, when i was growing up or when my behaviours were established, it was a different era. he talked about the 60s and 70s being a different time. it was a slightly odd statement because obviously the behaviours that he is now in such deep trouble for are much more recent, so it wasn't about the 60s and 70s for him. but i wonder whether you believe, with the span of your career,
that things have changed very much? in this gender dynamic, in the power relationships that exist and the abuse and harassment, has much changed? no. and i amjust... i hope that we all hope and do everything we can to make this so... that with this coming out about harvey weinstein and about bill cosby and about the man who is currently our president... that men will not feel that they can get away with it. and that other men will stand up for us and that women will be brave enough, including myself, to speak. i hope this is the turning point. let me ask you more generally about your activism, because i think it is true to say that even in the 60s, when you were making your way as an actor and by the late 60s and early 70s you had
tremendous success. . . but you were always determined to leverage your acting but use it in some ways as a platform for activism on civil rights, on a whole bunch of issues and, of course, ultimately the major stand you took on vietnam. more, actually, than feminism. was it because you felt that those things at the time were more important than feminism? it took me so long to be able to say that i am a feminist. an embodied feminist. first, it meant that you were against men and then i felt it was an issue that sidetracked... i remember... i was not always an activist, i came out late in life and i remember it was during the vietnam war, there were women demonstrating for the right of reproductive choice and i wrote in my diary that it is such a diversionary issue! it took me a long time to understand, because if you have grown up with it, that is to say,
misogyny, kind of feeling that you have to look a certain way in order to be loved or cared for... i was always in relationships where i felt i had to be the way they want me to be. with men, you mean? yeah. i have never had problems with women. that is why now i am only... it is just me and my girlfriends. we will get back to feminism. i want to briefly switch to vietnam. it was such a turning point for you. you became, for a while, a sort of bete noire for a lot of people in the united states who accused you of treachery because of the visit to hanoi, the infamous photograph of you with the
anti—aircraft weapon. i wonder if, still, inside you, there is a sense of regret about that? i don't regret going to vietnam. the united states was bombing the dykes from north vietnam, earthen dykes in the red river delta. if the dykes had given way, according to henry kissinger, somewhere around 2 million people could have died of famine and drowning. and we were bombing and it was not being talked about. and i thought, well, i'm a celebrity, maybe if i go and i bring back evidence... and it did stop two months after i got back so i am proud that i went. it changed my life. all for the good. the thing that i regret is that on my last day there, i made the mistake of going to a ceremony at an anti—aircraft gun, it wasn't being used, there were no airplanes or anything like that... there was a ceremony and i was asked to sing and people were laughing and so forth.
and i sat down and laughing and then i got up and as i walked away i realised, my gosh, it is going to look like i am against my own country's soldiers and siding with the enemy. which is the last thing in the world that was true. i had spent years working with the veterans and soldiers. and then i made coming home in order to try to show what these men were dealing with when they came home. but the image was there. do you feel that, to a certain extent, change the perception of you forever? in the united states, in particular? nothing but rocks last forever, and not even rocks. not forever. and i get letters, right even until today, i get letters on my blog, because i am active on social media, from veterans who say, i used to hate you but i realise now... blah, blah.
and iforgive you. and it makes me so happy. notjust for me but what i realise is that they understand now. and you use the word hate and there was hate for a while. there was some extraordinary things said. we don't need to go there. i get letters all the time from people who say i want to urinate on your grave. i know about that kind of thing. horrible stuff. what i want to do is think about what is happening in america today and ask you this... what is the best way, do you think, for artists, particularly famous artists, and let's face it, actors are the top of the tree, they are very famous people... what is the best way to leverage that public platform to be a successful, effective campaigner? because we have seen in the recent past, a lot of actors declaring their antipathy towards donald trump. but trump seems to thrive on that. and he talks about hollywood elites and these coastal people who don't understand the real america.
i wonder what you think the best way is of campaigning, of being politically active today? it is going to the districts, like in california it would be the southern part of california, san diego, the central valley. and as part of an organisation, not as individuals, and being trained and knocking on doors and talking to people who aren't like you. people who voted for trump. and asking them why. and asking, what matters to you? what would you like to see change? if i may, do you think the grandstanding and the big declarations at awards ceremonies, and i guess i am thinking of meryl streep at the golden globes, do you think that way of delivering an anti—trump message is effective or not? i don't know. all i know is that, and i say this as a dyed in the wool democrat, the democratic party has failed us.
the clintons failed us. and in a way, the 0bama administration... they have all neglected the very people who voted for trump. who used to be the base of the democratic party. these people are in such pain. and they are so angry. some of them are just — forget about it, they are white supremacists, they hate, they are filled with things... you don't even talk to them. but there is a lot of other people, for example, who voted for 0bama twice, and then voted for trump. these are people whose identity has been taken away, their factories, that used to pay them a good union wage, that they could support their family on. they are gone. who are they? they are now working in restaurants, they cannot make ends meet, etc and so forth. they need to feel that people are hearing them. can i ask you a simple question?
are you proud of america today? no! but... i am proud of the resistance. i am proud of the people who are turning out in unprecedented numbers and continue over and over again to protest what trump is doing. i am very proud of that core. in the nfl today, the national football league, there is a huge controversy about those players who are so angry about race politics in the united states today and particularly black players, that when the national anthem plays at games, they, for the time being, are determined to take a knee, do not stand for the anthem but take a knee. if you, jane fonda, were in a situation like that today... i would take a knee, i would take two knees. i would get on all fours if necessary to call attention. and trump is manipulating it to make it have something to do with the military. it has nothing to do with patriotism, it has nothing
to do with the military, it has to do with the fact that racism is so alive and well in the united states... but so many of those americans you say you want to reach out to, listening to your answerjust now, would say, jane fonda, she is still betraying our nation, disrespecting our flag and our military. she hasn't changed, she is still that hanoi jane. there are some people who feel that way. but the only way that i know to do it is to knock on doors and some people may not want to talk to me but they are curious, because what is a movie star doing here? and you go in and they talk about that and so one thing we know, you don't talk against trump, you don't talk against fox news, we tell them something that they didn't know. like... and ijust flipped a woman in san diego, which means she was going to vote for trump again and she changed her mind... because she is a single mother with
four children and a sick mother. and she is for trump. but when she found out what happens to her family if trump's health care went through... she was like, oh my god, i didn't snow. here is a wonderful quote from you and i want you to reflect on it and tell me what it means to you right now. you said... when i turned 60, i entered my third and final act. i decided i needed to heal a lot of wounds that were in me. i didn't want to come to the end of my life without doing all i could to become a whole, full voiced woman. are you that woman today? well, i am a work in progress but i am headed that way! and as you said to me earlier, is that a woman whose life now doesn't need... to put it bluntly... to be connected to a man, in a partnership or marriage? i totally do not need to be connected to a man, no. totally do not. and will not?
i don't think so, no. but that doesn't mean... i have friends in their 80s and 90s who are still going at it! and, god bless them, it is not over, it is just me personally, i have been through three husbands and a number of lovers. that's it, over. ijust got a new house! unfortunately, we're running out of time... and you just ended with that marvellous it's over. and i guess i have to say, this interview, unfortunately, is also over. gosh, there is so much left to say! applause. will you come back? thank you. 0ur quiet spell of weather continues apace across many parts of the british isles at the moment. that's not to say that it's completely dull by any means at all. a glorious end to the day captured by a number of our weather watchers. but elsewhere, well, it was one of those. the cloud sat there, so did the fog in some locations. but there is a sign of a change on the way. already we're seeing the cloud
and rain associated with this weather front moving into the northern and western parts of scotland. it will continue its journey a bit further south during the course of the night. first thing on wednesday, quite a variety to the temperatures. where the cloud pops away, two degrees or so in the east. 0ut towards the west, fully exposed to the moist south—westerlies coming in from the atlantic, well, it's nine, ten or 11 degrees. here we are first thing on wednesday. hill fog to be had if the cloud is broken overnight. there is the chance of the odd patch of fog. so bear that in mind. and enough about some of the cloud across the western facing hills and coasts for there to be the odd bit and pieces of rain or drizzle, especially near that weather front. to the north of that, a scattering of showers, not many of them,
by any means at all. much of scotland getting away to a dry start. i think it's here, north of the weather front, that you get the best chance of seeing meaningful sunshine, and eventually that prospect extends into northern ireland, too. all the while, anywhere near that frontal system, you've got the prospect of some hill fog and a wee bit of rain and drizzle. and that goes into the north and west of wales. to the south of it, pretty leaden skies, i'm afraid. and here we are on thursday. the orientation of the front has just changed here somewhat. the westerly portion, having come south, is starting to move back north. the best of the brightness, therefore, away from that, where you get the lowest of the temperatures, but the best chance of sunshine. in the south, again, a lot of cloud, some hill fog around. and, do you know what, not a great deal changes as i take here we are into the weekend before christmas and many will still be
stuck with that relatively mild flow coming in from the atlantic. but you'll notice, come christmas eve, we're not a million miles away from seeing quite a dramatic change, with some cold and brighter weather coming in. but in the run—up to christmasm generally mild, often really rather cloudy and the chance of some rain, particularly in the north. this is the briefing. i'm victoria fritz. our top stories: the biggest overhaul in the us tax system for 30 years is on course to become law, the first legislative win for donald trump. campaigning ends in catalonia, ahead of thursday's regional election, with the independence debate dominating the agenda. in her first tv interview, harvey weinstein's former assistant tells the bbc why she's breaking a non—disclosure agreement to speak out about him. what is uber, a transport or a technology company? the european court ofjustice will decide today and it will have huge consequences for the company. in the business briefing i'll be speaking to an employment lawyer,