Ever since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein opened up a national dialogue about sexual harassment and assault, women in Hollywood have been coming forward with their own stories that confirm there's something toxic when it comes to gender dynamics in Hollywood. In an essay for the New Yorker, iconic actress Molly Ringwald, who starred in films like 16 Candles and The Breakfast Club, opens up about her limited experience with Weinstein, and how she dealt with much worse from others like him during her time in the industry.
But first, Weinstein. She first met the producer when she was 20-years-old working on one of his early films, Strike It Rich, based on the book Loser Takes All by Graham Green.
"When we began filming, in France, I was warned about the producer, but I had never heard of him and had no reason to fear him," she writes. "The feeling on the set was that he and his brother, Bob, were becoming powerful and were difficult to work with, and that it was inadvisable to cross them."
As for her personal experience, the only exposure she had to Weinstein was when he put her face on another woman's body for the film's poster, and how she later had to sue him for her gross percentage of the film.
She never worked with Weinstein again, but she unfortunately had plenty of her own experiences with sexual misconduct on set at the hands of other directors and male members of the industry. Ringwald writes that a crew member once pressed his erection against her when she was thirteen, and a year later, a married film director put his tongue in her mouth on set.
But that's not all.
"In my twenties, I was blindsided during an audition, when I was asked by the director, in a somewhat rhetorical manner, to let the lead actor put a dog collar around my neck," she remembers. "This was not even remotely in the pages I had studied; I could not even fathom how it made sense in the story...I don’t even know if the collar ever made it on me, because that’s the closest I’ve had to an out-of-body experience...I sobbed in the parking lot, and when I got home and called my agent to tell him what happened, he laughed and said, 'Well, I guess that’s one for the memoirs...' I fired him and moved to Paris not long after."
This movement following the Weinstein allegations is the first time in a long time that these actresses are seeing any kind of rumble of progress, so we have to keep it up.
"My hope is that Hollywood makes itself an example and decides to enact real change," Ringwald concludes. "Change that would allow women of all ages and ethnicities the freedom to tell their stories — to write them and direct them and trust that people care."
Read These Stories Next