The Breakfast Club star Molly Ringwald troubled by film in the age of #MeToo

Ringwald has revisited the famous movie and been struck by how “inappropriate” she found much of John Hughes’ writing

Molly Ringwald, The Breakfast Club (Sky, EH)

Molly Ringwald, star of the classic movie The Breakfast Club, has said that after watching the film back in the context of #MeToo she finds some parts of it to be “troubling”.

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In an article for The New Yorker, Ringwald revealed that she began to re-evaluate the content of the film after her 10-year-old daughter asked to watch it.

The cult 1985 high school drama was directed by the late John Hughes, and told the story of teenagers forced to spend time in detention together.

“I worried she would find aspects of it troubling. But I hadn’t anticipated that it would ultimately be most troubling to me,” Ringwald wrote, picking out Judd Nelson’s character John Bender as particularly 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,” she continued.

“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.”

She added: “Bender sexually harasses Claire throughout the film. When he’s not sexualising her, he takes out his rage on her with vicious contempt, calling her ‘pathetic’.”

Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club
Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club

This scene had nagged at Ringwald “after a number of women came forward with sexual assault accusations against the producer Harvey Weinstein, and the #MeToo movement gathered steam”.

Ringwalded noted that as a teenager, she was only “vaguely aware of how inappropriate much of John’s writing was”.

“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,” she wrote of Hughes.

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Hughes also directed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone.