No, Molly Ringwald Doesn’t Find the Rape Jokes in Sixteen Candles Funny

In light of the recent #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, 80s icon Molly Ringwald is opening up about what scenes bothered her from John Hughes’ 1984 teen classic Sixteen Candles.

In the romantic comedy, Ringwald’s character’s crush Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) suggests taking advantage of his passed out girlfriend after a party at his house.

“I’ve got Caroline in the bedroom right now passed out cold,” Ryan says in the movie. “I could violate her 10 different ways if I wanted to.”

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“You know, when I made those movies with John Hughes, his intention was to not make Porky’s or Animal House,” Ringwald told NPR on Sunday. “But I think, you know, as everyone says and I do believe is true, that times were different and what was acceptable then is definitely acceptable now and nor should it have been then, but that’s sort of the way that it was… I feel very differently about the movies now and it’s a difficult position for me to be in because there’s a lot that I like about them.”

“And of course I don’t want to appear ungrateful to John Hughes, but I do oppose a lot of what is in those movies,” she added.

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Ringwald said she looks at Sixteen Candles differently now that she has a teenage daughter.

“I mean, there were parts of that film that bothered me then. Although everybody likes to say that I had, you know, John Hughes’ ear and he did listen to me in a lot of ways, I wasn’t the filmmaker,” the Riverdale actress said. “And you know, sometimes I would tell him, ‘Well, I think that this is kind of tacky’ or ‘I think that this is irrelevant’ or ‘this doesn’t ring true,’ and sometimes he would listen to me but in other cases, he didn’t.”

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In the wake of the #MeToo movement and victims of sexual assault coming forward with their stories, Ringwald said she believes “there is still a lot of good in the films and there’s a lot that I’m proud of.”

“And I feel like in a lot of ways they’ve touched teenagers and sparked a conversation that is important,” Ringwald said. “And having a teenage daughter myself, I know that it’s not always easy to get teenagers to talk. But these films sort of breakthrough that.”

Of The Breakfast Club, another Hughes-directed classic she starred in, Ringwald said the film gives teenagers “permission to talk about their feelings — [it] says that teenagers’ feeling really matter. And I think that’s a really powerful message and for that reason I really love it.”

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