Molly Ringwald Calls Out Her 80’s John Hughes Movies! Bill Maher Gives Much Needed Perspective! “Sixteen Candles” Takes On “Real Time!”

Molly Ringwald “Reviews” Her 80’s Teen Comedies – And The Internet Explodes!

An interesting controversy has erupted in entertainment, based on an article that Actress Molly Ringwald wrote for The New Yorker. In the article, she revisits several of her 80’s teen comedies like “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club”, watching them with her daughter, and she finds many offensive aspects to the films…

Ringwald’s article has sparked much controversy, with many agreeing with her points about the material in those 80’s films, while others have argued that current thinking can’t be applied to art that was made at a different time. The #MeToo movement was Molly’s catalyst for returning to these movies…

Two of the films were directed by the late John Hughes, who is considered the “genius” behind 80’s teen angst – but Ringwald argues that the movies sent messages that were sexist and racist…

One scene she mentions is when she gives her underwear to Anthony Michael Hall, for him to share with his classmates. The inference is they had sex. Here is how she describes it, and what happened behind-the-scenes with Director John Hughes:

In “Sixteen Candles,” a character alternately called the Geek and Farmer Ted makes a bet with friends that he can score with my character, Samantha; by way of proof, he says, he will secure her underwear. Later in the film, after Samantha agrees to help the Geek by loaning her underwear to him, she has a heartwarming scene with her father. It originally ended with the father asking, “Sam, what the hell happened to your underpants?” My mom objected. “Why would a father know what happened to his daughter’s underwear?” she asked. John squirmed uncomfortably. He didn’t mean it that way, he said—it was just a joke, a punch line. “But it’s not funny,” my mother said. “It’s creepy.” The line was changed to “Just remember, Sam, you wear the pants in the family.”

Another scene involves the exchange student named, wait for it:

Long Duk Dong!

Ringwald makes the case that this character is a caricature and his name is racist…in hindsight that may be true, but those who love the film see it as just a funny character with an exaggerated name…is it more than that? That’s the controversy.

Here is a link to Ringwald’s article, very thought-provoking:

One person had a strong reaction to the article, and the subsequent controversy around it:

Bill Maher Weighs In!

Bill Maher had strong words about this issue, which he shared on his HBO show on April 13:

“You can’t enjoy any music, movies or TV from ‘back when’ for any length of time without seeing something we just don’t do any more. But aren’t we adult enough to separate what we like about an old movie from what we don’t?” Maher continued. We can watch Big as a movie about a kid who becomes an adult, not as a movie “about a grown woman who fucks a 12 year old.”

“The most beloved and wholesome act in history was The Beatles but even they wrote ‘She was just 17, you know what I mean,’ which today sounds a little Roy Moore-ish,” Maher noted.

Mahrer said on his show that every generation could be called “The What Were You Thinking Generation”. He offered these examples:

In the early 1900’s, heroin was a children’s cough medicine.
In the 50’s, amphetamines were sold to housewives as diet pills.
We used to drive without seat belts.
And drink while we were pregnant
And litter indiscriminately – just throw shit out the window!
We smokes on airplanes. We would board an enclosed aluminum tube, with old people and children and asthmatics, and light up a Chesterfield.
We had pageants where we paraded women in swimsuits and judged them on their appearance.
“Oh wait – we still do that,” Maher conceded.

He finished with this:

“And that’s the point. We’re never finished evolving,” he said, warning, “no matter how ‘woke’ you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years: Beauty pageants, mass incarceration, putting our parents in old-age homes, how we treat animals.”

“One day your kids will grow up and ask you, ‘What’s Facebook and why were you on it all day? What’s a reality TV star and how did one become president?’” Maher forecast.

“We can’t believe people in old movies smoked. They won’t believe we put the cell phone in our pocket next to our nuts.”

As you can see, very strong opinions on both sides – what do you think?

Categories: Art, Books / Media, chicago, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Movies, Politics, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. What a fascinating article today, John. I agree that society evolves and changes. Thank goodness for that. If anything you can see how far we’ve come and it’s good. I like John Hughes films–they were corny and sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cindy, thanks for your comment. Molly makes great points, but so does Bill Maher – we can go back and, with 20/20 hindsight critique everything…would John Hughes have made certain choices today? Probably not, but were they wrong at the time? That’s hard to say, as you point out they were corny and sweet, not as controversial as made out with today’s sensitivities….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought Molly’s piece to be a thoughtful and well written exploration of movies made during a different time. I am a fan of John Hughes movies as I think, he more than any other movie director, captured what it was like being a teen. However, there are things in his movies that I cringe at now. And Pete brings up Pretty Baby, Blue Lagoon, Taxi Driver, and Leon, which I remember being controversial even when they were first released. I agree that movies like these shouldn’t be vilified, but instead taken within the context of their time period.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Molly’s views were featured on a BBC report. It made me think back to Brooke Shields. There was ‘Pretty Baby’ (which I own on DVD) a film about a child prostitute. Brooke was 12 years old at the time. In ‘Blue Lagoon’, she appeared naked, aged 14. Producers claimed body doubles were used, but the implication is there. In ‘Taxi Driver’, Jodie Foster played a child prostitute too, and she was just 14. Natalie Portman was just 13 in ‘Leon’, and there was an ‘unspoken’ sexual element to her relationship with the title character.
    All of this looks set to come back to haunt directors and producers, but it is worth remembering that attitudes change over time. It was acceptable for a girl of 13 to marry a King and to bear his child at 14, in the 17th century. People died younger then, and did everything else much younger too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Pete, these are great examples of films that today would never be made, but at the time, were considered acceptable..I completely agree that we need to continue to evolve our thinking about what is acceptable, but Ringwald’s criticism goes towards a “revisionist” review that may not be fair – on the other hand, as a white male I may be the last person to have a right to complain about sexist and racist depictions in film and TV

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Classic Recipe


Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt with Rebecca Moon Ruark

Take It Easy

Retired, not expired: words from the after(work)life. And music. Lots of music!

Hey, Traveler

Sharing travel tips, ideas, and anecdotes with fellow wanderers, dreamers, doers, and lovers of life

Stevie Turner

Realist, writer, reader, reviewer and rocker.

Cornwall in Colours

inspired by the colours of the land, sea and sky of Cornwall

Bonjour From Brittany

Celebrating what makes Brittany unique

Let's Go To The Movies

Film and Theatre Lover!

SoraNews24 -Japan News-

Bringing you yesterday's news from Japan and Asia, today.

Bite! Eat! Repeat!

52 Cookbooks. 52 Recipes. A Tasty 2022!

A Teacher's Reflections

Thirty Years of Wonder

Tanooki Homemade Cafe

Yummy Homemade Food Recipes to Make You Smile:)

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Pete Springer

Passionate Teacher and Future Children's Author


Follow us as we follow the road


Travel Through Ireland and Europe

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV


Tea, Tours and Escapades

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

You can always start now

journaling to see some answers

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews

Cindy Bruchman

Photography. Observations. Adventures. Let's talk.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Adventures and Misadventures in Boulder, Colorado

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotropic Cinema and more

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists


Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!


Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

%d bloggers like this: