After weeks of public tension, the Megyn Kelly and Jane Fonda feud has escalated to new heights. Here’s a look at how the celebrity quarrel all started, and how the two are responding today (hint: it’s not pretty).
1. How the feud began
When Fonda, along with Robert Redford, was a guest on Megyn Kelly Today to talk about her then-upcoming film, Our Souls at Night, Kelly posed this question to Fonda pretty early on in the interview:
You’ve been an example to everyone in how to age beautifully and with strength and unapologetically. You admit you’ve had work done, which I think is to your credit. But you look amazing … I read that you said you’re not proud to say you’ve had work done. Why not?
The question was met by an awkward pause, and Fonda eventually redirected the interview back to her movie.
Next: Fonda was clearly upset.
2. Fonda’s response
“I mean, the fact that we don’t have a lot of time, and [Robert Redford] is right here, it was a weird thing to bring up, whether I’ve had plastic surgery or not. I have, and I’ve talked about it, but it just seemed like the wrong time and place to raise that question,” Fonda told Entertainment Tonight Canada.
Next: News outlets and talk shows called Kelly’s question an amateur move.
3. The backlash Kelly received
As a result of the seemingly out-of-nowhere question, many people chalked up the awkward interview to Kelly’s transition from cable news prime-time anchor to morning host.
Next: Kelly goes against her personal philosophy.
4. Kelly almost took the high ground
Kelly let her viewers know that she usually likes to take the high road for matters such as these, because “my general philosophy is what other people think of me is none of my business.”
But it seems she’s made one major exception to her personal philosophy, and that’s “what other people think of me is none of my business — except when it’s Jane Fonda.”
Next: Kelly used her morning show as a platform to get back at Fonda.
5. Kelly blasted Fonda on her morning show
After several weeks, Kelly just couldn’t take the criticism anymore. She dedicated some time during Megyn Kelly Today to, not exactly address the situation, but fill the air with comebacks aimed at Fonda in what Wendy Williams would call Jerry-Springer style.
“It’s time to address the ‘poor me’ routine,” said Kelly of Fonda on her show.
Next: Kelly tries to explain herself.
6. Why Kelly thinks the question she asked was OK
Kelly stands by her initial plastic surgery question, suggesting that the reason Fonda was on her show in the first place was to discuss a film about aging. Important side note here: Actually, the characters of the film happen to be of a certain age, but the film is by no means specifically about aging. It’s about grief, loss, and loneliness.
The TV show host also stated that it was OK to ask the question because Fonda’s openly spoken about her plastic surgery in the past. To prove it, Kelly even showed various clips of the actress speaking about the very subject. In these featured clips, Fonda mentions that she’s ashamed of the surgery and obviously feels obligated to talk about the elephant in the room (her then-recent work done).
Next: She took her Fonda insults to the next level.
7. Kelly dishes out additional insults
Instead of apologizing for a question that made one of her guests feel uncomfortable, Kelly decided to further insult Fonda for vocalizing her discomfort.
Among other things unrelated to the feud, Kelly called her un-American and a “woman whose name is synonymous with outrage.”
Next: Kelly’s comments weren’t exactly well-received by her peers.
8. Other journalists react to Kelly’s comments
Since Kelly made those comments on air, other journalists have responded in different ways. While appearing on The View, Ann Curry stated Kelly’s decision to blast the actress on air this week was “not journalism.” The View host Joy Behar also jumped in, adding, “Jane should have just said to her, ‘And how much work have you had, b*tch?’”
In a series of tweets, writer Yashar Ali also questioned why Kelly would even choose to have Fonda on her show, if she had such an issue with her.
Next: Fonda herself chimed in.
9. What Fonda had to say
Despite all of Kelly’s comments and the additional reactions from the public and other journalists, Fonda said she would return to Kelly’s show — on one condition.
As she told Vanity Fair of the incident, “It wasn’t like I was upset. I was stunned. It was so inappropriate. It showed that she’s not that good an interviewer. But if she comes around and learns her stuff, sure.”
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