Molly Ringwald is the latest in a long line of brave actors and actresses who have stepped forward to share their own experiences with sexual abuse and harassment in the entertainment industry. The explosive Harvey Weinstein allegations that have come to light over the last few weeks have uncovered an ugly truth that many didn't know existed in Hollywood. Women have been stepping forward to share the stories of being sexually harassed and much worse in the entertainment industry at an alarming rate, prompting women all over the world to come forward and share their experiences. Molly Ringwald is one of the latest actresses to step forward and share her experiences that started at the age of 13 on the set of a movie.
The Breakfast Club star states that she "was lucky" when it came to dealing with Harvey Weinstein. There were no tales of unwarranted massages or late-night hotel calls, instead the actress witnessed his volatile temper and saw what she calls a lack of taste when he chose to paste her head on another woman's body for a movie poster in a pose and outfit that had nothing to do with the movie. While Ringwald got off "lucky" with Weinstein, she was not so lucky throughout the early years of her acting career.
In an essay that Molly Ringwald wrote for the New Yorker, the actress went through and detailed some of her own experiences coming up in a business dominated by men like Harvey Weinstein. When she was 13-years old on the set of a movie, a 50-year old crew member offered to teach her to dance and then proceeded to press himself against her with an erection in a way that nobody should have to go through. When she was 14, an older, married director shoved his tongue down her throat on the set. The patterns kept repeating and in an audition when Ringwald was in her 20s, a producer suggested that she deliver her lines with a dog collar on, again, this had nothing to do with the script.
In her mid-20s, Molly Ringwald left Hollywood for the most part and moved to Paris, picking up work sporadically. The magazine, Movieline, decided to write a piece about the young actress and her decision to leave Hollywood behind. Within the finished article, there was a quote from a very famous producer who said that he "wouldn't know Molly Ringwald if she sat on my face." As it turns out, the internet is full of detectives who were able to figure out that the producer in question is Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was one of the first to come out and publicly denounce Harvey Weinstein's behavior. 22 years later, Ringwald has finally gotten an apology. Katzenberg explains.
"That Molly Ringwald had to read those words attributed to me and believe I said them is horrifying, mortifying and embarrassing to me. Anyone who knows me now or back then knows I do not use language like that as a matter of course, or tolerate it. Ms. Ringwald, 22 years too late, I am deeply, deeply sorry."
Unfortunately, Molly Ringwald's experience is very common and it has been forever. But hopefully some change comes around after more and more stories are shared. Ringwald had this to say.
"Women are shamed, told they are uptight, nasty, bitter, can't take a joke, are too sensitive. And the men? Well, if they're lucky, they might get elected President. It's time."
The blame doesn't sit squarely with Harvey Weinstein, it sits with everybody that treats women the way that he has and even worse. Hopefully Molly Ringwald's words, along with the rest of the women coming forward, start to promote a shift in the entertainment industry and culture. You can read Molly Ringwald's essay in full courtesy of The New Yorker.