Sony Pictures Classics Condemns Peter Fonda, But Will Still Release His New Film
The distributor is moving forward with plans to open 'Boundaries' even as it calls the actor's remarks "abhorrent, reckless and dangerous."
In the wake of Peter Fonda’s incendiary tweet about the first family for which the actor has already apologized, Sony Pictures Classics on Wednesday evening said that it is moving forward with plans to release the indie feature Boundaries, in which Fonda has a supporting role, even as it condemned his remarks as "abhorrent, reckless and dangerous."
Responding to the sight of children being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, the Easy Rider actor on Tuesday issued an all-caps tweet that read, "WE SHOULD RIP BARRON TRUMP FROM HIS MOTHER’S ARMS AND PUT HIM IN A CAGE WITH PEDOPHILES AND SEE IF MOTHER WILL WILL [SIC] STAND UP AGAINST THE GIANT ASSHOLE SHE IS MARRIED TO. 90 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STREETS ON THE SAME WEEKEND IN THE COUNTRY. FUCK."
In response, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, "As an FYI @SonyPictures has a movie with him dropping in a few days. I wonder if they will apply the same rules to @iamfonda that they did to @therealroseanne. I have a strange suspicion that they wont do anything. Please RT, we deserve an answer!"
The film in question is the drama Boundaries, starring Vera Farmiga and Christopher Plummer, in which Fonda has a supporting role. Directed by Shana Feste, the pic had its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year and is set to open Friday in just five theaters.
In a statement, the specialty film distributor Sony Pictures Classics said, "Peter Fonda’s comments are abhorrent, reckless and dangerous, and we condemn them completely. It is important to note that Mr. Fonda plays a very minor role in the film. To pull or alter this film at this point would unfairly penalize the filmmaker Shana Feste’s accomplishment, the many actors, crew members and other creative talent that worked hard on the project. We plan to open the film as scheduled this weekend, in a limited release of five theaters."
In response to Fonda's original tweet, Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for the first lady, said it was "sick and irresponsible" and that the Secret Service had been notified. It is unclear whether the Secret Service has opened an actual investigation.
Around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Fonda issued an apology for the tweet.
"I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television," he began. "Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”
Fonda also encouraged people to protest in order to stop Trump and his policies.
"Wanna stop this fucking monster? Really wanna stop this giant asshole? 90 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE STREETS ON THE SAME WEEKEND! THESE REPUBLICAN ASSHOLES ARE ALL IN ON IT! THE CHIEF ASSHOLE IS HAPPY WE ARE ALL VERY UPSET. WE HAVE TO GET EVEN MORE ANGRY WITH THESE REPUBLICANS," Fonda tweeted. "It’s more than a protest! 90 million people in the streets on the same weekend works. I can’t be the organizer for they’ll arrest me for conspiracy to commit sedition. This must be like a spontaneous event without seeming to be organized by me and we have to make this happen NOW," he added.
In his own tweet, Trump Jr. was referencing the fact that ABC cancelled the sitcom Roseanne after its star Rosanne Barr tweeted a racist insult aimed at former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett. While Trump Jr. chose to take aim at Fonda's appearance in Boundaries, the actor also will make appearances in several other upcoming projects, including the Amazon series Jack Ryan and the independently produced war movie The Last Full Measure.
Fonda is the son of the late legendary actor Henry Fonda and the younger brother of Jane Fonda. He was nominated for an Oscar for best original screenplay in 1969 (Easy Rider) and then for best actor in 1997 (Ulee's Gold).