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Molly Ringwald troubled by The Breakfast Club

OHMYGOSSIP — Molly Ringwald is “troubled” by ‘The Breakfast Club’. The 50-year-old actress – who recently revealed she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was 14 – was left feeling uncomfortable when she reviewed her 1985 high school drama with one of her daughters.

Molly – who has Mathilda, 14, and twins Adele and Roman, eight, with husband Panio Gianopoulos – wrote in an essay for the New Yorker: “I worried she would find aspects of it troubling. But I hadn’t anticipated that it would ultimately be most troubling to me.”

And Molly explained how one particular scene made her feel uncomfortable “after a number of women came forward with sexual assault accusations against the producer Harvey Weinstein, and the #MeToo movement gathered steam”.

She wrote: “At one point in the film, the bad-boy character, John Bender, ducks under the table where my character, Claire, is sitting, to hide from a teacher.
“While there, he takes the opportunity to peek under Claire’s skirt and, though the audience doesn’t see, it is implied that he touches her inappropriately.”

As a teenager when she made the film, Molly admitted she was only “vaguely aware” of how “inappropriate” John Hughes’ writing was on the movie. But she added: “It’s hard for me to understand how John was able to write with so much sensitivity, and also have such a glaring blind spot.”

The actress also admitted she was uncomfortable about a scene she had in ‘Sixteen Candles’, another of John’s movies. She wrote: “I’m a little embarrassed to say that it took even longer for me to fully comprehend the scene late in ‘Sixteen Candles,’ when the dreamboat, Jake, essentially trades his drunk girlfriend, Caroline, to the Geek, to satisfy the latter’s sexual urges, in return for Samantha’s underwear.”

After rewatching the movies she’d worked on with the writer-and-director – who died in 2009 – she went on to watch and read more of his work but it left her disillusioned as she believed he could be “racist, misogynistic, and, at times, homophobic”.

She mused: “How are we meant to feel about art that we both love and oppose?”

However, Molly – who also starred in John’s ‘Pretty in Pink’ – argued the filmmaker was a trailblazer for focusing on the experiences of teenage girls in a real way.

She said: “John’s movies convey the anger and fear of isolation that adolescents feel, and seeing that others might feel the same way is a balm for the trauma that teenagers experience… Whether that’s enough to make up for the impropriety of the films is hard to say.”

But the actress thinks future generations will be left to decide if the movies are still relevant in the years to come. She wrote: “The conversations about [the films] will change, and they should. It’s up to the following generations to figure out how to continue those conversations and make them their own – to keep talking, in schools, in activism and art – and trust that we care.”

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Tags assigned to this article:
Molly RingwaldPanio GianopoulosThe Breakfast Club

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