I made a tough decision earlier this week. Well tough for me, probably not so tough for most of you. I’m no longer sharing my screenplay to the blog.
First, I want to clarify that I did not stop sharing because of an essay that Molly Ringwald wrote for The New Yorker. I’ve toyed with this idea for the past month. I sat in my car and cried because I was having one of those really bad weeks that wasn’t getting any better. That is when I first thought of not sharing it any longer.
But read the Molly Ringwald essay because I would love to have a discussion about it with all of you who are interested. There are some points I totally agree with and some I don’t agree with at all. But I am glad that she started the discussion and feel like she is keeping John Hughes relevant although I know that’s not her intention. I like keeping his name out there because although yes, he made some decisions in his writing that I agree weren’t very favorable towards women, at the end of the day he was writing for a generation that wasn’t being represented, writing strong female leads in a time that didn’t and wrote scripts that generally had more depth than most films of my teenage years.
What I am annoyed with are the people who called themselves John Hughes fans who are all of a sudden on a bandwagon that I don’t want to be a part of. I don’t want a witch hunt; I want a lively back and forth discussion. So if you throw out a link on Twitter and leave it there to start a fire, you aren’t someone I want to associate myself with.
By the way Molly, way ahead of you. In writing this screenplay, I am trying to right the wrongs because I HATE that Long Duck Dong was such a racist character; I HATE that there were very few if any black actors in most of his films; I HATE that John Bender was a sexist pig.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Porky’s. Love at First Bite, Revenge of the Nerds, Police Academy.
So many more inappropriate movies that I can’t think of off the top of my head, but that was what Hollywood (white men) thought America wanted to see at that time.
I hate that my best friend Rebecca, who identifies as Filipino (even though she has Japanese, Korean and even Italian blood running through her veins), talks about The Karate Kid with much more fervor than any John Hughes film because of the racist undertone of Sixteen Candles. Her interpretation of his films was tainted as it should be, and that makes me sad. It was a realization that I came to this weekend and part of why I won’t share it on here anymore. I felt sick that my best friend can’t share my love for a director and his movies because her perspective is spoiled by what she might feel is someone who made fun of her background.
There are many other things I could take issue with but that up there was the tip of the iceberg and why I realized I need to work on my screenplay to make it something that at the end of the day, I could be completely proud of. I am not quitting, I am simply focusing my energy and efforts on making it the best it can be.
Right now, my once-finished screenplay sits broken into ten different pieces with notes like CHANGE MOLLY’S TONE HERE (THINK ANGRY) and MAKE SURE REGINA’S GRANDMA IS ONLY SPEAKING IN JAPANESE etc.. This June, Anna and I are going on a mom/daughter trip to California and I really want a finished version of my screenplay sitting in my bag to pass to someone in a coffee shop or on the TMZ bus and it won’t be ready by then if I keep sharing it on the blog.
So it is well with my soul as the screenplay is concerned but thank you so very much to those who have read along, commented about what their favorite parts are, sent me supportive messages that make me laugh and cry. You are my motivation to keep it going, that it isn’t a stupid idea, and that someday it will be made into something more than words on a page.