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How Molly Ringwald feels about The Breakfast Club in the age of #MeToo

Molly Ringwald is taking a closer look at the '80s teen movies that made her famous.

The Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles star tackled the Harvey Weinsteins of the film industry in a New Yorker article last year. In a new piece published by the magazine Friday, Ringwald revisits her starring roles in John Hughes' iconic films through a post-#MeToo lens.

Hughes' films are known for redefining teen movies, and Ringwald says that she is proud of her work on them. But after rewatching the films today — in some cases with her young daughter — she realizes their legacies are complicated, she writes.

Ringwald tells how she objected to some lines or scenes even as they were being shot, including the famous Breakfast Club scene where Judd Nelson's John Bender looks up the skirt of Ringwald's Claire Standish. Although another actress sat in for the scene, "even having another person pretend to be me was embarrassing to me," Ringwald writes. She told Hughes her concerns, but the scene stayed, she says.

Then there's a troubling scene in Sixteen Candles, which Ringwald describes below:

[T]he dreamboat, Jake, essentially trades his drunk girlfriend, Caroline, to the Geek, to satisfy the latter's sexual urges, in return for Samantha's underwear. The Geek takes Polaroids with Caroline to have proof of his conquest; when she wakes up in the morning with someone she doesn't know, he asks her if she "enjoyed it." (Neither of them seems to remember much.) Caroline shakes her head in wonderment and says, "You know, I have this weird feeling I did." She had to have a feeling about it, rather than a thought, because thoughts are things we have when we are conscious, and she wasn't. [Molly Ringwald, via The New Yorker]

You can read the rest of Ringwald's thought-provoking piece — including how the actress who played Caroline feels about that scene — at The New Yorker.