Former chairman of Walt Disney Studios and former DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg has apologized for his alleged remarks about the actress Molly Ringwald, even as he apparently denied ever having said them.
In a New Yorker article titled “All the Other Harveys,” Ringwald, the actress perhaps best known for her role in the 1980s “Brat Pack” movies Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, addressed an explicit comment Katzenberg was quoted as saying in a 1995 Movieline article.
“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.,’” she wrote. “Maybe he was misquoted. If he ever sent a note of apology, it must have gotten lost in the mail.”
“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 in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
In her piece for the New Yorker in the wake of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein and rising evidence of a sexually abusive culture within Hollywood, Ringwald goes on to say that when she “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.”
“When I was fourteen, a married film director stuck his tongue in my mouth on set. At a time when I was trying to figure out what it meant to become a sexually viable young woman, at every turn some older guy tried to help speed up the process,” she continued.
“I could go on about other instances in which I have felt demeaned or exploited, but I fear it would get repetitive. Then again, that’s part of the point.”
Meanwhile, Katzenberg this week described Weinstein as a monster but warned he is not the only person to engage in sexually abusive behavior.
“Make no mistake about it, he is a monster,” Katzenberg said at an event on Wednesday. “The problem is there is a pack of wolves; he is not a lone actor in this. That is what we really need to find a way to deal with.”