Molly Ringwald Says Me Too: ‘Director Stuck His Tongue in My Mouth’ at 14

Ringwald also called out former DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg for a crude comment he made about her in a 1995 interview

Last Updated: October 19, 2017 @ 12:18 PM

Molly Ringwald has joined the growing chorus of women in Hollywood speaking out against an industry-wide culture of sexism and harassment, speaking about her own encounter with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein in a column for The New Yorker.

In the column, titled “All The Other Harveys,” Ringwald noted that while she wasn’t sexually harassed by Weinstein, she was warned about working with him when she starred in one of the first films he produced in 1988. After witnessing some uncomfortable encounters between Weinstein and the crew, she came to see him as “volatile.” She also criticized him for taking over the film and putting out a poster in which she was drawn in a 1950s pinup dress without her knowledge or consent.

“Thankfully, I wasn’t cajoled into a taxi, nor did I have to turn down giving or getting a massage,” Ringwald wrote. “I was lucky. Or perhaps it was because, at that moment in time, I was the one with more power.”

Instead, Ringwald’s encounters with sexual harassment have come from others. “When I was fourteen, a married film director stuck his tongue in my mouth on set,” she wrote. Later, just prior to her move from Hollywood to Paris, Ringwald was forced by a director to allow a lead actor to put a dog collar around her neck during an audition. When she tearfully told her agent about the incident, he responded with a flippant joke.

“When I was thirteen, a fifty-year-old crew member told me that he would teach me to dance, and then proceeded to push against me with an erection,” added Ringwald.

The “Sixteen Candles” star’s biggest call-out was perhaps aimed at DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg, for a crude comment he made about her in a 1995 article for MovieLine. Without mentioning him by name, Ringwald noted how she was asked to appear on the cover of MovieLine following her return from Hollywood, and in the cover story, Katzenberg was quoted as saying that he “wouldn’t know [Molly Ringwald] if she sat on my face.”

“Maybe he was misquoted,” she wrote. “If he ever sent a note of apology, it must have gotten lost in the mail.”

On Wednesday, Katzenberg said in a statement to TheWrap, “That Molly Ringwald had to read those words attributed to me and believe I said them is horrifying, mortifying and embarrassing to me. Anyone who knows me now or back then knows I do not use language like that as a matter of course, or tolerate it. Ms. Ringwald, 22 years too late, I am deeply, deeply sorry.”

Ringwald concluded by noting that for many women, such instances of harassment are very common, and that Hollywood needs to stop accepting such behavior as part of doing business.

“I hope that young women will one day no longer feel that they have to work twice as hard for less money and recognition, backward and in heels. It’s time. Women have resounded their cri de coeur. Listen.”