Jane Fonda Rallies VIPs Against Big Oil in California - 3 minutes read

When Jane Fonda throws a party, everyone shows up.

Case in point: the star-studded, sold-out preview benefit, Art for a Safe and Healthy California, which the Oscar winner and activist hosted in Beverly Hills on April 9. The goal of the event was to raise money—more than $10 million, reps said on Wednesday morning—and awareness in support of the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy California, a grassroots initiative fighting to prevent an environmental safety law from being overturned in November.

“They told me Jane Fonda wanted to speak to me before we started the event. Who says no when Jane Fonda wants to speak to you?” joked featured performer John Legend to the crowd. “I think everybody is here in this room because Jane Fonda asked you to be here.”

Other VIP attendees agreed, like Chelsea Handler, Maria Shriver, and Judd Apatow, who praised Fonda’s organizing abilities and recognized the importance of the cause.

L-R: Jennifer Meyer, Kelly Sawyer Patricof, Leslie Mann, and Derek Blasberg; Karen Bass; Vanessa Chow and Michael Chow.Far Left and Far Right: By Virisa Yong/BFA.com; Center: Linnea Stephan/BFA.com.

“She’s an indefatigable force in every way. But especially with climate change in the last few years and her Fire Drill Fridays, and everything she’s brought attention to, it is very admirable,” said Handler. “I’m so grateful that I have the time in my schedule to show up and support it. [Climate change] is not going away, so we have to get better at dealing with it.” 

Shriver spoke about Fonda’s decades of activism as well as the importance of raising awareness about the public health issues tied to environmental problems. “The thing that’s inspiring to me is that she never gives in or gives up. And for women in particular, I think she is an inspiring figure,” she said of Fonda. “We have an issue of chronic disease in this country. We have an unequal health care system, and people are living next to things that make them sick. That’s not right. It shouldn’t be the case. Bringing up the environment as a health issue and connecting the dots for people makes it real and very of the moment.”

Writer-director Apatow, who attended with his wife, actor Leslie Mann, admitted he is “a sucker for charity events,” and applauds the effort that goes into them. “I appreciate when people put in the effort to do things like this because it’s a massive amount of work,” he said. “We didn’t have to bug all these painters to donate paintings. We just get to show up and look at them.”

A major draw of the benefit, held at the famed Gagosian gallery, was the opportunity to view and purchase some of the donated artwork on display. (The rest will be auctioned in Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale during their marquee sale week in May, while a second set of works will be presented for sale in an exhibition this summer at Gagosian’s Beverly Hills gallery.) The Art for a Safe and Healthy California benefit features work from leading contemporary artists including Karon Davis, Charles Gaines, Frank Gehry, Alex Israel, Marilyn Minter, Catherine Opie, Christina Quarles, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Ed Ruscha, Kenny Scharf, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jonas Wood.

Source: Vanity Fair

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