Dear Grace and Frankie Fans, I’m writing to thank you for your support of the show over the years. I’ve heard about the binge-watch parties, grandkids watching with grandparents, the Halloween G&F costumes that fans have sent pictures of and all the fan-created G&F merch and GIF’s. Lily and I have been buoyed by the heartfelt appreciation from our older fans who’ve told us they felt seen on the small screen in ways they had not experienced before (I mean, seniors and vibrators, who would have thought!) Most profoundly, Lily and I will never forget the stories we’ve been told about women who were losing hope following a tragedy but found hope again when friends or family suggested they watch G&F. Hope is needed now like never before and I’m deeply gratified that our show helped spread some around. With Love and Gratitude to the fans, Jane
Frankly, I’ve been worrying about the possibility that in the 15 months since we were last filming “Grace & Frankie,” I may have lost the ability to act. My main activity during those 15 months was hosting Fire Drill Fridays and interviewing climate experts and that’s really different than acting. But last Monday we went back to the set and, turns out, I can still do it and I’m happy doing it. Some of our crew is new but most of the main people are from before COVID and it was really sweet to see them. Our Unit manager and producers have a knack for hiring nice and diverse people, so the set has always been chill. Actually, sometimes way too hot or too cold but always chill…if you get my meaning. The COVID protocols are serious but not so overwhelming that they stifle our creativity or make things too difficult. I’m really glad we waited till now to return to work and not when the restrictions were even tighter. Then there’s the problem of the Biden Administration. The planet is on fire. Climate scientists are sending grave warning that if we continue to drill and burn fossil fuels we risk catastrophe. This isn’t a game. This isn’t hyperbole. It’s way to late for half measures. Why did Biden pause the Keystone XL but say he supports Line 3 in Minnesota and will fight attempts to stop it in court? It’s the same heavy, dangerously polluting oil as Keystone from the Alberta, Canada tar sands passing under some of purest bodies of water including the headwaters of the Mississippi. Why does Gavin Newsom, California’s Governor, keep issuing new permits for drilling and fracking? Does he think we won’t notice or won’t care? What’s with these guys? People, we need to up the ante. Get out of our comfort zones and make our voices heard. For those who can get there, there’ll be a big rally in front of the DC Capitol this Tuesday. We need to all do what we can to put maximum pressure on the Democrats to act bravely and boldly to save us and our planet. Time is running out but it’s not too late.
This is an article by V (formerly Eve Ensler) that just appeared in The Guardian. I think it’s really important so I’m sharing here. Disaster patriarchy: how the pandemic has unleashed a war on women As Covid-19 has swept the world there has been an explosion of violence against women, and a full-blown assault on their rights. It’s time to fight back against a system that allows women to be sacrificed, erased and violated V (formerly Eve Ensler) Covid has unleashed the most severe setback to women’s liberation in my lifetime. While watching this happen, I have started to think we are witnessing an outbreak of disaster patriarchy. Naomi Klein was the first to identify “disaster capitalism”, when capitalists use a disaster to impose measures they couldn’t possibly get away with in normal times, generating more profit for themselves. Disaster patriarchy is a parallel and complementary process, where men exploit a crisis to reassert control and dominance, and rapidly erase hard-earned women’s rights. All over the world, patriarchy has taken full advantage of the virus to reclaim power – on the one hand, escalating the danger and violence to women, and on the other, stepping in as their supposed controller and protector. I have spent months interviewing activists and grassroots leaders around the world, from Kenya to France to India, to find out how this process is affecting them, and how they are fighting back. In very different contexts, five key factors come up again and again. In disaster patriarchy, women lose their safety, their economic power, their autonomy, their education, and they are pushed on to the frontlines, unprotected, to be sacrificed. Part of me hesitates to use the word “patriarchy”, because some people feel confused by it, and others feel it’s archaic. I have tried to imagine a newer, more contemporary phrase for it, but I have watched how we keep changing language, updating and modernising our descriptions in an attempt to meet the horror of the moment. I think, for example, of all the names we have given to the act of women being beaten by their partner. First, it was battery, then domestic violence, then intimate partner violence, and most recently intimate terrorism. We are forever doing the painstaking work of refining and illuminating, rather than insisting the patriarchs work harder to deepen their understanding of a system that is eviscerating the planet. So, I’m sticking with the word. Continue reading: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jun/01/disaster-patriarchy-how-the-pandemic-has-unleashed-a-war-on-women
It felt as though we were eating under an arbor on a Venetian island. Monica Rosenthal serving salad. Some kind of pizza-like dish but not pizza, that made me die and go to food heaven. I’d never had anything like it before. Phil Rosenthal (#Somebodyfeedphil on Netflix) and I eating a yummy pizza. Well, I’m eating, Phil’s smiling. He smiles a lot and is very funny and a true foodie, as you know if you watch his show, which I do. Another pasta dish that was new to me but had java bean-shaped pasta stuffed with spinach and there were mushrooms involved. Always a good thing. To the left, is Lily Rosenthal in sunglasses and the guy to the right is producer, Doug Wick. I don’t have a photo with Lucy Fisher in it. She and Doug are married and produce hit movies together. I first met Doug in the late 1970s when he was assistant to Alan Pakula on the film we did with James Caan, “Comes a Horseman.” And yet another pasta, very fresh and yummy. Made in the Rosenthal’s kitchen right before being served by chef Daniele Uditi. I’m eyeing the pasta while Phil smiles again. And this is a photo of Chef Uditi being very Italian.
While I’m one of the privileged ones that wasn’t really hurt by the pandemic, it does feel good to be going out from time to time and invite people over. The 2 things I miss are the zero traffic during lockdown and not having to care what I wore from the waist down. I even went to a cinema last week by myself. There were 3 other people in the theatre. Of course, it was an old French film, “La Piscine,” with Alan Delon and Romy Schneider. I’d always heard it was very sexy and it was. I liked being in the big dark room with a proper screen and popcorn. What was strange was that to get there (it was a Laemmle Theatre in Santa Monica) I had to drive through my old stomping grounds in the 70s and 80s when I was married to Tom Hayden and my son was born. Back then, I bought a house one block from the beach in Ocean Park for $40,000! At the time, Ocean Park was redlined which meant that banks considered it a bad investment because it was all thrift shops, laundromats, bars, and people considered to be down-and-outs. We loved it and it was one of the happiest times. Our neighbor on one side was a nightwatchman at Hughes Aircraft Co. and he worried when we moved in that property values would increase. He was right. It’s all changed now. I think our house sold recently for well upwards of $2 million!!! Everything is gentrified. I didn’t see one laundromat or thrift shop. The community garden is still there and flourishing which made me happy, but Ocean Park and Santa Monica are almost unrecognizable. But I have friends who live there who still benefit from the rent control we fought for way back then and it’s gratifying to know that that fight made it possible for a rich diversity of people to live there and make a go of it who otherwise might not have. We need to expand rent control across Los Angeles. The start of the final season of “Grace & Frankie” is 3 weeks away. Costume fittings start next week. I gotta drop a few COVID-induced pounds which I can do. I’m good at it. But I’m feeling rather at loose ends because Fire Drill Fridays is taking the month of June off and then we’ll do the show once a month starting in July. I can’t do more than that while filming and, besides, I think people are experiencing Zoom fatigue. But we went out with a bang: My last guest was Demi Lovato and on movie night we showed Spike Lee’s award-winning documentary, “When the Levees Broke,” and Spike joined me after for a discussion. Speaking of, I just bought Spike’s children’s book that he did with his wife, Tonya: “Please, Baby, Please”. I’m so itching to get back into the streets to demand the Biden administration phase out of fossil fuels. Why oh why is he having such a hard time divorcing us from that criminally destructive industry that continues to cause millions of deaths. 2.8 million have died so far from COVID over last 15 months. Over same time frame, 3 times as many have died from fossil fuel-related air pollution = 8.7 million. Why not treat the climate crisis as a real crisis as well? The 8.7 million deaths from air pollution is just one small part of the crisis that’s fast unfolding but we don’t feel the urgency we feel with COVID. The ocean is dying. Forests are disappearing. Billions of species have already been lost. The dangers posed by the climate crisis are far worse that the COVID pandemic and may soon become irreversible. Enough already. Me and my friends Catherine Keener, Rosanna Arquette, Taylor Schilling, Barbara Williams and her son Liam Hayden are all going to join the big Treaty People Gathering in Northern Minnesota to protest the Enbridge Line 3 which threatens to bring tar sands oil from Canada into Minnesota under 200 bodies of pristine water. Please visit https://treatypeoplegathering.com for information on how to participate in person or from afar. You can also help by forwarding the information to your own networks of family and friends and on social media. #StopLine3 KEEP IT IN THE GROUND and put the oil workers into jobs cleaning up the mess.
On March 23, I posted about the Enbridge Line 3 that I had visited. Now, again, I want to call people’s attention to this travesty because we must stop it. Line 3 is a proposed pipeline expansion that will bring nearly a million barrels of toxic tar sands oil per day through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through the Mississippi River headwaters to the shore of Lake Superior. The pipeline is a climate bomb — with a carbon impact equal to 50 new coal plants. All pipelines spill, so it is also a pending disaster to the drinking water of 18 Million people who depend on the Mississippi River. And it brings tremendous risk to Anishinaabe women in Northern Minnesota—a population most likely to be victims of sexual assault— as two pipeline contractors have already been charged in sex trafficking. For years, Indigenous women have been leading the fight to stop Line 3. As tensions have risen and construction has begun, I visited Line 3, Mark Ruffalo went on social media to get word out and Bonnie Raitt recorded a song to amplify the fight and to support the frontline water protectors. In early June, thousands will join them to lay their bodies on the line at the Mississippi River and call on the President to stop construction. We need your help to get them there and to ensure that people across the nation and the world see what is happening. Over the next few weeks we are seeking: 1) Public and private calls on President Biden to Stop Line 3, by revoking the faulty Trump Pipeline permit for Line 3. Amplifying social media such as this: For those with direct access to the Biden administration we are asking for private notes or calls. We can provide any supporting materials/arguments as needed. (Line 3 Talking Points) 2) Amplification of the call to gather. Frontline indigenous leaders in Minnesota are calling on allies to join them on the banks of the Mississippi River to StopLine 3 from June 5-8 at a Treaty People Gathering. All are welcome, we are all treaty people, and folks will be coming from across the country. We are looking for influencers to lift up this call by amplifying social media calls to gather. A full social media kit is here. 3) Celebrities who are willing to join us in Northern Minnesota the first week of June. We realize this is a big ask! But it was prominent folks who visited Standing Rock in 2016 who lifted the fight of Indigenous water-protectors into the national consciousness. The situation in Minnesota is building to a similar crisis point. My visit to Northern Minnesota in March was a major breakthrough for the movement to StopLine 3. Now that many more people are vaccinated we are working to build the momentum necessary to stop the pipeline in June.
I was waiting till I got another photo of the whole gang to go with this before posting and time got away from me, I never got the other photo, and Mother’s Day seemed to be receding. Until I just read my weeks-old blog comments with so many nice comments about Mother’s Day that I decided, screw it. I want my followers to rejoice with me that for Mother’s Day dinner, I went out as a guest of Bob and Ginny Newhart and their daughter, a son, 3 granddaughters and a grandson. And man-o-man was it fun. It’s a great idea to have a friend who’s a stand up comedian. You laugh a lot. You see, the Newhart’s are neighbors and all during the pandemic, every Friday, all of us neighbors on the cul-de-sac have pulled out our folding chairs, brought out a drink , sat, masked, 6 or 8 feet apart and carried on. We watched our 2 youngest neighbors learn to walk, two of us died (not from COVID) and the rest celebrated last week at not having to wear masks. Because they are totally fantastic, big hearted people, the Newhart’s wrote me the next day and invited me to celebrate Mother’s Day with them. Isn’t that the sweetest thing? So here I am with Bob. A few weeks late. I’m sorry I don’t have the photo of Ginny and all the grandkids. Onward!
In the face of a worsening climate crisis, with scientists telling us we must not permit any new fossil fuel development and begin a managed phase out of existing fossil fuel infrastructure, a Canadian Oil company, Enbridge, is pushing ahead with the largest project in its history. Known as Line 3, it’s a 1,097 mile crude oil pipeline extending from the tar sands of Edmonton, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. It will expand an already existing line that Enbridge says it could operate without problem for a number of years, but it wants the new one to double the amount of oil that it’s transporting. This expanded Line 3 will have the capacity to carry 760,000 barrels per day of heavy tar sands oil through Indigenous lands, which could result in an annual increase of 193,000,000 tons of carbon emissions. The estimated carbon intensity of this pipeline is equivalent to the emissions from 50 coal fired power plants or two 38 million vehicles on the road. Articles about Enbridge say Line 3 will “provide much needed incremental capacity to support Canadian oil production growth and US and Canada refinery demand.“ But we don’t want to do that!! We can’t do that and avoid climate catastrophe! Please, there’s a new team in town –Team Biden—and they tell us we must listen to science and science says—and this is really critical—we already have more developed oil, gas and coal than we can burn and stay within our carbon budget. There’s no wiggle room. Undeveloped fossil fuels must stay in the ground. We have but a decade to reduce our carbon emissions before we reach a tipping point when we lose control. Too many of the ecosystems that support life will start to collapse. This is not a rehearsal! This is a locomotive heading right at us. Help! Please help me and all the Indigenous Water Protectors and their supporters to stop this. It’s every bit as dangerous as the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline going through Standing Rock. On his way out, as a lame duck president, Trump greenlighted a number of these pipelines, illegally, without properly considering Treaty rights, environmental justice and climate impacts. Hope is not lost. President Biden can stop these risky pipelines by reversing all of Trump’s water crossing permits granted by the Army Corps. Trump did not follow a process based on science. Line 3 is at a critical moment as I type this message to you so we need to all help now. Enbridge says they negotiated successfully with Indigenous communities. Oh yeah? Then how come 3 Tribes in Minnesota are suing them to stop the pipeline? Not only is this exactly what climate scientists are warning us must absolutely not happen but it’s ignoring Anishinaabe and Ojibwe Treaty rights, and endangering the tribes wild rice crop as well as their water, some of the only remaining clean, drinkable water in North America. The pipeline would pass beneath 200 bodies of water including the headwaters of the Mississippi. Tar sands is heavy and when it sinks it’s very hard to clean up. Wild Rice is central to the culture and history of the Indigenous Peoples of northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. It’s the only place it grows in the world apart from an area in Canada. This unique rice is also central to their food supply. Running huge pipelines under these lakes of rice is damaging in and of itself, even without leaks. But Enbridge’s pipelines tend to leak. From 1996 until only 2014 they’ve had over 1000 leaks approaching 1 billion gallons of oil! I know this is long and intense but there are 2 more things I need to say: 1. Enbridge was required by the state of Minnesota to put large sums of money into a special Trust that is meant to cover law enforcement costs related to the pipeline. But what’s happened as a result, is that local sheriffs’ departments are billing the trust for every minute they spend harassing and arresting water protectors. This flow of money has incentivized the police to crackdown on peaceful opponents of the pipeline and bill for it. One woman I spoke with was strip searched while a male cop watched through a crack in the door. Some I spoke with have been put in a cage. Others are crammed into cells, without sufficient protection from COVID. There are militarized drones buzzing low over protestors houses at 3am. Many have been followed by police and stopped for no reason, their identity information taken. I was followed on two separate occasions and a car in my caravan was stopped on the way to the press conference we were headed to and questioned for a long time before being released. I wondered how much extra money that officer was making from that episode. But there’s no question that local police are seeing more money than they ever have and they’re being turned into a privatized force working in the pay of a foreign corporation. This is not only a bad idea, it’s illegal and some of the best Constitutional Rights lawyers in the country at the Center for Protest Law and Litigation, are preparing litigation to challenge and end this illegal privatization of public police in what will be a pioneering lawsuit. 2. There are apparently some several 1000 workers mostly from out of state working on Line 3. The climate crisis isn’t their fault. They do some of the most dangerous jobs in industries that fueled this nation’s energy systems for the last 100 years. Along with all the coal, oil and gas workers, we need to thank them for this work and then make absolutely sure that, as the world moves on from fossil fuels because the future depends on it, the workers immediately get union or union equivalent jobs with benefits and bargaining rights. Fossil fuel stock is plummeting. 1000s of the workers are being laid off. But there are millions of jobs that desperately need doing. Not just in the green, renewable future –which aren’t unionized and that’s something that needs fixing–but our roads and dams and sewage systems and storm systems and water pipes are decaying and, as we just saw in Texas and Mississippi, our utility companies are unable to withstand extreme weather events. Oil and gas wells need to be remediated. The workers have the skills for this, and the oil companies are supposed to pay for that. Well let’s make them do it before they declare bankruptcy and leave us holding the bag. Please, let’s direct our justifiable anger at the fossil fuel company executives, never the workers. Here’s how you can help: Write a letter to President Biden to ask him to stop Line 3. https://www.stopline3.org/biden. We urge you to customize the sample letter —personal stories about why this fight is important to you are invaluable. Support the Center for Protest Law & Litigation by contributing to their work. Donations will support a funding pool to subsidize and offset legal defense of civil and human rights of persons arrested while exercising their First Amendment rights in opposition to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline AND support their work affirmatively challenging unconstitutional official and police efforts to deprive front-line activists of their fundamental First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly, free speech, community educational activities, and religious practices.
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