Jane Fonda And Adopted Daughter Mary Address Naysayers Who Use Race To Criticize Their Relationship

April 24, 2013  |  

Earlier this month Mary Williams, who is the adopted daughter of Academy Award-winning actress Jane Fonda released a book. In the memoir titled The Lost Daughter, Mary recounts how her friendship with Fonda blossomed into a mother-daughter relationship, which ultimately resulted in Jane adopting her. The act of love demonstrated by Fonda appears to have been a life-changing one, as Mary reveals in her memoir that prior to the adoption she was on a path of destruction. Although this all seems like a pretty admirable story, people have slammed the book, saying that it’s nothing but another story like The Blind Side, perpetuating “Great White Hope-like” tales of Black people having to be saved by White people. During a recent interview with Tavis Smiley Jane and Mary addressed those comments, saying that it’s sad people are only able to see color.

“I think this is also a story of my saving myself. For me it’s not about Jane saving me. And I’ve seen that in articles, but I think I save myself as well. I could’ve easily stayed with my family. That was all I knew. But I had the courage to step into the unknown. I didn’t know what was gonna go on here. That takes a lot of courage to leave your family. To me it’s not the story of ‘the great white savior’ and I know those stories and I’ve made comments about those stories believe it or not. I think my situation was a two-fold situation,” Mary expressed.

“We didn’t live this with the idea that it would one day become a book or a movie,” Jane added.

The ladies continue to chat with Tavis about different sides of the debate when Jane blurted “Maybe more Black people should, you know, reach out.” It appears that her comment may have come from a frustrated place, but she quickly fixed it up by saying, “And maybe they do and we just don’t know about it.” Mary went on to address people who expressed that Jane should have left her where she’d found her.

“They were basically saying leave her in a dysfunctional and abusive situation and see if she sinks or swims rather than give her a sure opportunity to go somewhere else. To me it’s about love and about someone helping another person. If that [race] is the first thing you focus on when you see someone has helped someone else, then that’s kind of sad,” Mary continued.

Skip to the next page to watch Jane and Mary’s interview. What are your thoughts on this story?

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