American actress Jane Fonda, guest of honor at the Vienna Opera Ball, called on the prestigious institution on Wednesday to cut its ties with the oil industry, described as "criminal" by the climate activist.
She also interfered in geopolitics by expressing her "anger" against Russian President Vladimir Putin and by saluting "the courage of the Ukrainian people and their extraordinary leader" Volodymyr Zelensky, a former comedian who "knew how to show himself to the height".
"I discovered" that the Austrian hydrocarbon company OMV "is one of the sponsors of the ball", she declared during a press conference in Vienna, where she arrived Monday by a commercial flight.
"I'm sorry to hear that. These companies are criminals, they kill people, they kill the planet," the 85-year-old star said.
For Jane Fonda, they are trying to restore their image, to "make themselves socially acceptable by paying money to museums and operas".
"We cannot allow this. The Vienna Opera is fantastic, make sure it stops receiving support from an oil company," she told reporters.
As pressure mounts on cultural institutions linked to fossil fuel companies, the Royal Opera House in London announced in January the end of its 33-year contract with oil giant BP.
The company OMV, which is also a historical partner of the Russian gas giant Gazprom, replied in a playful tone, inviting Jane Fonda "to discuss the development of OMV, if she has time", according to a tweet from the spokesperson. Andreas Rinofner.
For his return to the United States, OMV is making its renewable aviation fuel available to him, he told AFP.
Contacted, the Vienna Opera did not respond immediately.
A cinema icon who has become a pacifist, feminist and then environmental activist since the 1970s, Jane Fonda has also taken the side of those who stick to the asphalt to raise awareness.
She was asked about the "Letzte Generation" (Last generation) movement which is organizing a series of traffic blocking actions in Vienna this week.
"I know that many people are annoyed but I completely understand why young people engage in such drastic gestures", commented the one who was arrested several times for protesting against the immobility of political leaders.
Faced with the “chaos” that awaits, faced with “this crisis which could mean the end of civilization”, everything must be done to “attract attention”, insisted the Oscar-winning actress with energy.
Jane Fonda will be the star on Thursday evening of the very posh Opera Ball, which is returning after a two-year forced break linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coming to Vienna at the invitation of Austrian real estate magnate Richard Lugner - "because I am paid handsomely", money used to finance his actions against climate change - she "will not dance".
"I have prostheses in one shoulder, hips and knees. I'm old and in danger of falling apart," she smiled.
02/15/2023 19:52:50 - Vienna (AFP) - © 2023 AFP