Men like Harvey Weinstein should go to jail, says Jane Fonda

Key Points
  • "This goes on all over the world on all kinds of levels," Jane Fonda told CNBC when commenting on the sexual harassment allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein
  • Although Jane Fonda hasn't personally worked with the producer, the actress understands how tough it is for women who've been found in these types of situations
Harvey Weinstein should go to jail: Jane Fonda
Harvey Weinstein should go to jail: Jane Fonda

Sexual harassment isn't just a problem Hollywood is currently trying to come to terms with — it's "epidemic", one award-winning actress told CNBC.

In recent days, famous movie stars such as Ryan Gosling, Emma Thompson, Brie Larson and Tom Hanks have spoken out in support of those who have been affected by the sexual harassment scandal currently encircling producer Harvey Weinstein.

Now, it's Jane Fonda's turn.

Not only does she believe that the women who've come forward should be applauded for their courage, but the people who conduct such acts — like those that Weinstein has been accused of — should face the consequences too.

"I think they should all go to jail, and you know let's put Bill Cosby in there… but the question is not just Hollywood, you know, this is epidemic," Fonda, an Academy Award winner, told CNBC's Tania Bryer in an interview that aired Friday.

"This goes on all over the world, on all kinds of levels, and you know very, very powerful men and not very powerful men, but I think that they have to be put in jail."

Jane Fonda
Tibrina Hobson | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Last week, The New York Times published an investigation uncovering sexual harassment allegations involving Weinstein – a co-founder of both Miramax and The Weinstein Company. In the initial report, two company officials told The New York Times that Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women over alleged harassment.

Since then, more reports have trickled in via media outlets worldwide, with the accounts having led to Weinstein's firing by the board of his namesake company.

Actresses Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Beckinsale and Cara Delevingne are just a handful of the women who've spoken out about the uncomfortable experiences that they've had with Weinstein.

"I think that the women who come forward have to be applauded, respected, listened to and gotten help for, because it really has psychological consequences," Fonda said.

Paltrow and Jolie accounts may have sealed Weinstein's fate
Paltrow and Jolie accounts may have sealed Weinstein's fate

When asked by CNBC whether she was surprised by the allegations, Fonda said she wasn't surprised at all, but rather she was glad that women were coming out and not being afraid to discuss these issues.

"Thank God, women are talking, because back in the day we were too scared to talk, because we thought no one would ever hire us again," Fonda explained.

"Make no mistake: women who come forward and talk about being sexually harassed, abused or raped, it's very, very, very hard. You don't get anything out of it, except fingers being pointed at you and too often people not believing you. So it's very brave of these women to do it and it gives courage to other women."

Although the actress has not personally worked with the movie producer, Fonda understood how tough it was for women placed in these types of situations, explaining how many tended to be "young and vulnerable."

"If you'll notice this kind of thing happens to young women who are vulnerable and really can't well… it's hard for them to defend themselves. It's hard for them to have agency over the situation."

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