UPDATED: Actor Seth Rogen and filmmaker Judd Apatow are speaking out against a recent Washington Post op-ed, in which film critic Ann Hornaday chastises “frat boy” films such as Rogen’s recent hit, Neighbors, for encouraging sexist thinking and behavior — the sort that led to Elliot Rodger’s deadly shooting rampage Friday night in Santa Barbara.
In an article published May 25, Hornaday noted that Rodger’s disturbing videos — in which he lamented his lack of success with girls, even though he considered himself a “supreme gentleman” — “unwittingly expressed the toxic double helix of insecurity and entitlement that comprises Hollywood’s DNA,” where “escapist fantasies” about “vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment” reign supreme.
More specifically, she referenced Rogen’s most recent film and Apatow’s body of work, asking, “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’? 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’?”
Rogen, offended by Hornaday’s words, responded via Twitter Monday. Apatow soon followed with his own response, backing up Rogen’s statement:
Hornaday issued a video response Tuesday, saying that “in singling out Neighbors and Judd Apatow, I by no means meant to cast blame on those movies or Judd Apatow’s work for this heinous action.” She added: “But I do think, again, it bears all of us asking what the costs are of having such a narrow range of stories that we constantly go back to.”