Why The Breakfast Club Raises Concern Of Sexual Harassment To Molly Ringwald
Written by Janeeta Matharu on 23 April 2018
33 years since the release of the 1985 hit movie, The Breakfast Club, Molly Ringwald finds the storyline to be “most troubling” to her.
Ringwald, 50, recently watched the teen hit with her 10-year-old daughter but felt there were many inappropriate themes, most of which are issues within numerous industries that are being acted on.
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Actress Molly Ringwald
“It’s a strange experience, watching a younger, more innocent version of yourself onscreen. It’s stranger still—surreal, even—watching it with your child when she is much closer in age to that version of yourself than you are.”
Considering the recent number of sexual assault cases that have been made known to the public, including allegations made against American film producer, Harvey Weinstein, and the #MeToo movement, Molly believes the story between her character, Claire Standish, and Judd Nelson’s, John Bender, is quite concerning.
“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.”
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Molly Ringwald’s character, Claire, with Judd Nelson’s iconic character, John Bender, in The Breakfast Club.
This scene only made her feel and think about how many women have come forward this past year and opened up about their sexual assault cases, and this made her feel uncomfortable about how “attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic”.
Ringwald was extremely thankful to have made three movies alongside the late and great John Hughes, however, she felt it was important to “examine” the past characters she had played, and how they would be perceived today by young women in light of the many cultural issues women have experienced in this day and age.
“I made three movies with John Hughes; when they were released, they made enough of a cultural impact to land me on the cover of Time magazine and to get Hughes hailed as a genius.”, Ringwald states. “His critical reputation has only grown since he died, in 2009, at the age of fifty-nine. Hughes’s films play constantly on television and are even taught in schools. There is still so much that I love in them, but lately I have felt the need to examine the role that these movies have played in our cultural life: where they came from, and what they might mean now.”
Image from Entertainment Weekly
She admitted she was “hesitant” at first when her daughter had proposed to watch the movie, as she was not sure “how she would react: if she would understand the film or if she would even like it.”
However, Ringwald stated, it was actually the opposite, “I worried that she would find aspects of it troubling, but I hadn’t anticipated that it would ultimately be most troubling to me.”
It is troubling how young girls and women are defined unknowingly on and off screen, and it is an issue that is still very much in need of addressing, and to be fought for.
Feature image from Rolling Stone.