Molly Ringwald Says ‘Predators’ Took ‘Advantage of’ Her in Brat Pack Era

Molly Ringwald Says Predators Took Advantage of Her in Brat Pack Era It Can Be Harrowing
Molly Ringwald Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Molly Ringwald is opening up about Hollywood “predators” when she was a teen star in the 1980s.

“I never really felt like I was part of a community when I was in Hollywood, just because I was so young, really,” Ringwald, 56, recalled during the Monday, May 27, episode of the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast.  “I wasn’t into going out to clubs. I feel like I’m more social now than I was then. I was just too young.”

Her first blockbuster movie was Sixteen Candles, which she made when she was actually 15 years old. The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink both hit the big screen before she turned 18. Ringwald recalled being “taken advantage of” during this time period, adding, “You can’t be a young actress in Hollywood and not have predators around.”

“I wasn’t raped by Harvey Weinstein, so I’m grateful for that,” she continued. “But I also did write an essay for The New Yorker that was all like, ‘It’s not all Harvey Weinstein. He’s not the only one.’”

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The teen icon described the experience as “harrowing,” noting that she has “a 20-year-old daughter now who is going into the same profession, even though I did everything I could to convince her to do something else. And it’s hard.”

Molly Ringwald Says Predators Took Advantage of Her in Brat Pack Era It Can Be Harrowing
Molly Ringwald as Claire Standish in ‘The Breakfast Club.’ Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Ringwald shares Mathilda and twin daughters Adele and Roman, both 14, with husband Panio Gianopoulos.

During the explosion of the #MeToo movement, Ringwald wrote in her 2018 New Yorker essay that actresses of the ‘80s “tended to be much older than their characters” because “they had to be, since the films were so frequently exploitative.”

She added: “The successful teen comedies of the period, such as Animal House and Porky’s, were written by men for boys; the few women in them were either nymphomaniacs or battleaxes.”

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That same year, the actress told NPR that director John Hughes — who she frequently collaborated with on films including The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink — didn’t intend on making sexualized films.

She continued: “But I think, as everyone says and I do believe is true, that times were different and what was acceptable then is definitely [not] acceptable now and nor should it have been then, but that’s sort of the way that it was.”

Ringwald said she feels “very differently” about her past films, noting “it’s a difficult position for me to be in, because there’s a lot that I like about them. And of course I don’t want to appear ungrateful to John Hughes, but I do oppose a lot of what is in those movies.”

Since her Brat Pack days, Ringwald performed on Broadway and starred in several TV shows, including the Ryan Murphy-produced prestige series Feud: Capote vs. The Swans and Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. She also played herself in the teen parody film, Not Another Teen Movie, in 2001, and has transitioned into portraying moms of teens in hits like Secret Life of the American Teenager, Riverdale and The Kissing Booth.