Former “West Wing” star Martin Sheen is planning to join actress and activist Jane Fonda at a climate change protest Friday on the southeast lawn of the Capitol.
The event is part of Fonda’s weekly “Fire Drill Friday” demonstrations in support of the Green New Deal climate legislation sponsored by progressive lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Fonda and friends are calling on Congress to create high-paying jobs in the renewable energy sector and end all new fossil fuel exploration and extraction.
Since relocating from Los Angeles to D.C. last fall, Fonda has enlisted her famous pals for weekly civil disobedience demonstrations, which typically end in arrests. Numerous Hollywood celebrities have joined her, including Ted Danson, and Sam Waterston and Lily Tomlin, who both star with Fonda on Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.”
Despite acting in films such as “Apocalypse Now,” and raising son Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen is probably best known for playing Democratic president Josiah Edward “Jed” Bartlet on “The West Wing.” A beltway favorite, the show’s quotes are the closest thing D.C. political dorks have to a lingua franca. (“What is the virtue of a proportional response?”) In it, Sheen could be seen bringing to life stunningly erudite monologues straight from the pen of series creator Aaron Sorkin.
But Sheen, who also co-stars with Fonda on the Netflix show, is more than just pretty words. He’s no stranger to being jailed for protesting. The longtime liberal activist was arrested in the 1980s for protesting nuclear weapons testing.
The 82-year-old Fonda, considered Hollywood royalty, has also generated her fair share of controversy for her political activism. She was an outspoken member of the anti-Vietnam War movement and for decades has donated millions of dollars to liberal causes and candidates.
Arrested four times since October, she’ll be avoiding the brig this time around. The actress has an early morning flight the next day to begin shooting season six of “Gracie and Frankie,” according to spokesman Ira Arlook.
In addition to the fictional president, Fonda will have Oscar-nominated actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Joaquin Phoenix on hand for the protest.
The rally is scheduled for 11 a.m. The demonstrators will focus on the “major banks and investors that finance fossil fuel exploration,” according to a statement from Fonda. She’ll also announce plans for future demonstrations. Fonda told the Los Angeles Times she initially wanted to take an entire year off to lead the protests, but was contractually obligated to film her television show. The announcement may have to do with how the protests proceed once Fonda returns to filming.
We have only one question: What’s next?