When the magazine Movieline made a decision to feature Ringwald on their cover in 1995, "the head of a major studio - and, incidentally, someone who claims himself to be horrified by the Harvey allegations" was quoted saying: 'I wouldn't know [Molly Ringwald] if she sat on my face'. The low-budget British movie was one of the then-up-and-coming producer's first efforts, while Ringwald signed on as an established star - a dynamic, the actress writes, which is partly the reason she "wasn't cajoled into a taxi" or forced "to turn down giving or getting a massage". "When I was fourteen, a married film director stuck his tongue in my mouth on set". The actress admitted that when this happened at her age of 14, she was just trying to figure out "what it meant to become a sexually viable young woman". "That Molly Ringwald had to read those words attributed to me and believe I said them is horrifying, mortifying and embarrassing to me", Katzenberg said.
Ringwald, now 49, said she's purposely never spoken before about her experiences of sexual harassment in the industry. The piece arrives amidst the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal and as numerous women begin to detailtheir own experiences with sexual harassment and assault in the film and television industry.
She also shared her experience of an audition in her 20s, when she was asked by a director "in a somewhat rhetorical manner, to let the lead actor put a dog collar around my neck". She recalled a profile in the magazine Movieline, in which "the head of a major studio - and, incidentally, someone who claims himself to be horrified by the Harvey allegations - was quoted as saying, 'I wouldn't know [Molly Ringwald] if she sat on my face.' I was twenty-four at the time". This was not even remotely in the pages I had studied ...
She said she fired him. "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...'" Maybe he was misquoted. Strike It Rich tanked and she was denied money that was owed to her. Weinstein even changed the movie poster, putting Ringwald's head on a Marilyn Monroe-esque body that had nothing to do with the character.
Though Ringwald doesn't name names in her New Yorker essay, the article in question is available on Movieline's website, and attributes the quote to former Dreamworks chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg. Because when women do speak out, they tend to be "shamed, told they are uptight, nasty, bitter, can't take a joke, are too sensitive".
"Let´s hope that big old dinosaur of men thinking they can get away with that sort of behaviour is extinct as of now", she told reporters.
"I never talked about these things publicly because, as a woman, it has always felt like I may as well have been talking about the weather".