Rogen, Apatow Lash Out at Critics Linking Movies to Killer

Image: Rogen, Apatow Lash Out at Critics Linking Movies to Killer Judd Apatow, left and Seth Rogen.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 02:21 PM

By John A. Oswald

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Hollywood funnymen Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow are lashing out at Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday, who suggests spree killer Elliot Rodger was driven over the edge by their films – and a "a sexist movie monoculture" that is "overwhelmingly controlled by white men."

Their fury erupted on Twitter over the holiday weekend, the Huffington Post reports.

"I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed," Rogen tweeted Monday.

"How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage?"

Hornaday cited Rodger's YouTube video in which he bemoans being a 22-year-old virgin and vows a "day of retribution." Police say Rodger, who had a history of mental illness, went on a subsequent rampage that left six victims dead before he committed suicide.

Rogen stars in the frat house comedy "Neighbors," which has made $181 million at the box office as of Monday, the industry estimates.

"How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like 'Neighbors' and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut out of college life that should be full of 'sex and fun and pleasure'?" the critic asks.

Rodger, in his six-minute video, expresses fury at blond sorority girls who reject him and young men who are having sex and fun while he is "rotting in loneliness."

Then Hornaday turned on Apatow: "How many men, raised on a steady diet of Judd Apatow comedies in which the shlubby arrested adolescent always gets the girl, find that those happy endings constantly elude them and conclude, 'It’s not fair'? Movies may not reflect reality, but they powerfully condition what we desire, expect, and feel we deserve from it."

"His delusions were inflated, if not created, by the entertainment industry he grew up in," Hornaday said of Rodger, whose dad is a director. Those expectations for sex, fun, and success – coupled with the movie studios hyperviolent blockbusters make for a toxic brew, she posits.

Apatow, the man behind "Anchorman," "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" "Knocked Up" and "Bridesmaids," accused Hornaday of milking the tragedy.

"Why is it always everything but mental illness? Because that doesn't sell papers," he said in one tweet.

In another: "Here is how it all works. Anne says something thoughtless. I say it is wrong, then CNN asks everyone to debate and it becomes TV."

After a madman shot 12 dead and injured dozens of others in a Aurora, Colo. theater two summers ago, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein called for a summit to examine how violence is portrayed on screen.

"I think, as filmmakers, we should sit down – the Marty Scorseses, the Quentin Tarantinos, and hopefully all of us who deal in violence in movies – and discuss our role in that," said Weinstein, an avid supporter of President Obama, the Huffington Post reported.

Nothing ever came of Weinstein's call.

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