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14 Apr 2021, 13:53 HRS IST
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  • Stories can change people: Jane Fonda calls for representation in Cecil B DeMille Award speech

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Los Angeles, Mar 1 (PTI)
Art has not just walked in step with history but has led the way, said Hollywood veteran Jane Fonda, who emphasised the need for more diversity in the entertainment industry during her acceptance speech for the Cecil B DeMille Award at the 2021 Golden Globes.



Citing the power of storytelling, the 83-year-old actor-activist urged for colleagues to show leadership, representation and denounce favouritism in Hollywood.

"Stories, they really can change people. But there's a story we've been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry, a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out, a story about who is offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made," Fonda said.

"So let's all of us, including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards, let's all of us make an effort to expand that tent so that everyone rises and everyone's story has a chance to be seen and heard," she added.

The seven-time Golden Globe winner said it is time leaders acknowledged and recognised diversity.

"Doing this simply means acknowledging what's true, being in step with the emerging diversity that's happening because of all those who marched and fought in the past and those who have picked up the baton today. After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way. So let's be leaders; okay?" Fonda further said.

The actor, who was feted for her "lasting impact on the world of entertainment", also listed many of the works that inspired her in the past year, including "Nomadland", "Minari", "Judas and the Black Messiah", "Small Axe", "US vs Billie Holliday", "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom", "One Night in Miami" and "I May Destroy You".

Many of these pieces of art, she said, "have deepened my empathy for what being Black has meant".

Fonda, who already has two Academy Awards, an Emmy, and an AFI Life Achievement to her name, became the 67th - and 16th female - to receive the coveted award.

In a career spanning six decades, the actor has starred in films like "Julia", "Coming Home", "Klute", and "9 to 5".

Her most recent feature film outing was the 2018 film "Book Club", whose sequel is currently under development. She also stars in Netflix comedy series "Grace and Frankie", which was renewed for a seventh and final season in 2019.

In 2019, Fonda made headlines for her participation in the climate change protests in Washington DC, wherein she was arrested on multiple occasions.

Previous winners of the Cecil B DeMille Award include the likes of Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne and Frank Sinatra, as well as her father Henry Fonda.

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