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Molly Ringwald slams cancel culture as 'unsustainable' and often 'unfair': 'I worry about that'

Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Moth

Molly Ringwald, one of the most recognizable actresses of the 1980s and an iconic member of Hollywood's "Brat Pack," recently admitted that she worries about the possible consequences of cancel culture.

In an interview with the Guardian's Zoe Williams, Ringwald claimed that cancel culture has grown too big, now that former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is in prison and the #MeToo movement appears to be on the wane. "[A] lot of people have gotten swept up in 'cancelation,'" Ringwald told Williams, "and I worry about that."

In 2017, the beginning of the #MeToo movement, Ringwald publicly stated that she had been mistreated and perhaps assaulted while she filmed various blockbusters from the '80s, including "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," and "Pretty in Pink." She claimed that "a married film director" shoved his tongue down her throat when she was just 14 and another crew member pressed up against her while he sported an erection through his clothes.

Now 55, Ringwald told Williams that a predator like Weinstein would not be able to target young actresses anymore and that too many people have "unfairly" fallen victim to false or exaggerated accusations of sexual impropriety. "Some people have been unfairly canceled," Ringwald said, "and they don’t belong in the same category as somebody like Harvey Weinstein."

"What it ends up doing is make people roll their eyes," she explained. "That’s my worry.

"I do want things to change, for real," she continued. "Workplaces should be places where everyone can feel safe, not just in Hollywood, but everywhere. Particularly Americans. We can never do things incrementally; we’re so binary, so all or nothing. We’re basically a bunch of puritans."

Ringwald also claimed that her parents kept a watchful eye on the adults around her when she was still a child actor. "I did feel protected," she said. "I had my parents around, and I felt like they were very protective of me."

She called the mid-'80s "a different time" and claimed that, while sexual predators in Hollywood likely still exist today, they have had to adapt to a different culture. "It’s like bullying in schools," She said. "They say: 'We have a zero-tolerance policy.' After that, it still exists, but it goes a little bit underground. It's a bit harder to get caught. It gets harder to say: 'Is this bullying or not?' It’s a bit like that with #MeToo."

Ringwald, who described herself as "very liberal," has three children with husband Panio Gianopoulos. In addition to acting, she has recently worked as a musician and author. She published a novel, "When It Happens to You," in 2012 and then went on a tour to promote her jazz album, "Except Sometimes," the following year. She is currently filming the supernatural horror series "Riverdale" in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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