Sally Field Speaks Up
Being a Mom Is Everything
LHJ: You caused a bit of a stir yourself last fall with your speech at the Primetime Emmy Awards. You certainly have a knack for illustrious awards show speeches!
SF: Tell me about it! [Laughs.] Give me a gold statue and it's, hey, look out everybody!
LHJ: But unlike your famous "You like me!" speech, your Emmy speech was the talk of the blogosphere and TV news programs. Did that surprise you?
SF: I was shocked! Because my intention wasn't to be political. The problem was, people who watched the show thought I said something terrible about President Bush and the war in Iraq because they pulled the camera away and bleeped me. People still ask, "How could you say something so hurtful about our country?" And I'll say, "Well, do you know what I said?" And they'll say, "Yeah, but do you think celebrities have the right to spout off politically?" And I'll say again, "Do you know what I said?" What I said was, "This award belongs to all the mothers of the world, may they be seen, may their work be valued and praised, especially the mothers who stand with an open heart and wait for children to come home from danger, from harm's way, and from war."
LHJ: Is there a reason you have that memorized?
SF: Because I've had to defend myself so much! I went back and looked at it again and again. The only mistake I made was in the next line when I put god in front of damned. But I do think if God would ever damn anything it would be war. Unfortunately, what was lost in the tumult was my intention to pay homage to mothers. Because, let's face it, it's not just the mothers of soldiers who have it rough out there. It's the mothers of police officers and of firefighters and of everyone else whose child is in service to his or her country and community. Motherhood is given the brush-off in our society. "Oh, I'm just a mom," you hear women say. Just a mom? Please! Being a mom is everything. It's mentorship, it's inspirational, and it's our hope for the future. I wanted to applaud them publicly.
LHJ: Given your high regard for mothers, is it safe to say you're a Hillary supporter?
SF: I am a Hillary supporter. I've met her many times and we've worked together for an organization she started called Vital Voices Global Partnership [a group that empowers women leaders around the world].
LHJ: What impresses you about her?
SF: First of all, she's brilliant. But what dazzles me is how resilient she is. The times she gets slammed, she takes it and grows from it. She gets stronger. We need to get out of some terrible, terrible situations as a country, and I want a president who can take those blows and be stronger. Not stronger in the sense that I'm going to blow your head off. But stronger in the sense that I'm going to be more informed, more honest, more honorable, and those blows won't weaken me. Showing our might clearly didn't work over the last four years. I want stronger in the way that only a mother can be strong. Whoever the next president is, man or woman, it needs to be a mother.