Molly Ringwald Says Breakfast Club Scene Was ‘Troubling'
80's teen star Molly Ringwald has spoken out about a controversial scene in her hit film The Breakfast Club that she now looks back at and finds it “troubling”.
Ringwald recently watched the movie after her young daughter asked to see it, but in light of the #MeToo movement realised there were issues with several aspects of the film.
Writing in The New Yorker, Ringwald, 50, said she watched the John Hughes-directed film with her 10-year-old daughter but was “worried she would find aspects of it troubling.”
“But I hadn’t anticipated that it would ultimately be most troubling for me,”
The actress said the scene that upset her was when her character, Claire Standish, is touched inappropriately by John Bender, played by Judd Nelson.
Ringwald 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.”
Ringwald was 16 at the time so an extra was filmed for that particular scene.
She claims her mother was upset by the scene and asked Hughes to edit it out of the film.
“What’s more, as I can see now, Bender sexually harasses Claire throughout the film,” Ringwald wrote.
“When he’s not sexualising her, he takes out his rage on her with vicious contempt, calling her ‘pathetic’, mocking her as ‘Queenie’. It’s rejection that inspires his vitriol.”
Despite Bender’s abuse, he actually ends up with Claire at the end of the movie.
“I kept thinking about that scene,” Ringwald wrote.
“I thought about it again this past fall, after a number of women came forward with sexual-assault accusations against the producer Harvey Weinstein, and the #MeToo movement gathered steam. If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes.”
“If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes”