This actress achieved a big honor on Thursday night. Jane Fonda received the American Film Institute's 42nd Lifetime Achievement award, only asserting what a key player she is in the film industry. While it was a victory for her own career, she touted it as something bigger — something for women. In fact, rather than saying she was so happy that her name was added to the list of Lifetime Achievement Award winners, she said:
I'm so happy to add another woman's name to the list.
BOOM. You can't ignore that statement's impact.
So often actors win awards and receive recognition for the work they've done and thank their family, God, some agent, you know, the usual #blessed sort of stuff. But after winning numerous awards — Academy Awards, Emmys, and Golden Globes — for individual pieces of work, when you're at the point that you get recognized for a career, it becomes a lot bigger than doling out simple thanks.
Fonda's addition to this list, which includes Michael Douglas, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep and Barbara Streisand, is indication that another woman in Hollywood has done a lifetime of excellent work. It means that women can contribute enormously to the film industry. We know that, of course, but when the media awards that, even better.
Folks at the AFI awards only had amazing things to say about Fonda's work (we can next catch her as the feisty widow Hilary Altman in This is Where I Leave You this September), but one of the most touching testimonials came from her son, Troy Garity:
Being raised by you, intimately observing your commitment, I want to say to you here, in front of this great room of people, that in film, in fitness, in politics, in family, Mom, you have succeeded.
Indeed she has.