Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow: Don’t blame us for misogynistic massacre

Following her column about Hollywood’s influence on alleged Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger, The Post’s Ann Hornaday received swift and divided feedback on social media. Here is her response to critics. (Davin Coburn/The Washington Post)

Actor Seth Rogen has taken issue with a suggestion, published in The Washington Post, that his films — most recently the frat-boy comedy “Neighbors” — contributed to Elliott Rodger’s bloody rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., on Friday.

Rogen was responding to film critic Ann Hornaday’s column, in which she wrote:

as important as it is to understand Rodger’s actions within the context of the mental illness he clearly suffered, it’s just as clear that his delusions were inflated, if not created, by the entertainment industry he grew up in.

“How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage,” Rogen tweeted to Hornaday. He added: “I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed.”

Rogen isn’t specifically named in the piece, but his movie “Neighbors” is.

Hornaday wrote that Rodger, who is the son of movie director and producer Peter Rodger, grew up in a world dominated by Hollywood visions of manhood and adolescence.

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”?

Apatow, the producer and director, also took offense to the column, retweeting Rogen, then publishing his own flurry of thoughts on the issue.

Hornaday’s column and the responses from Rogen and Apatow touched off a debate about whether Hollywood can be assigned any blame for Rodger’s disturbing views on women and sex.

Update: Ann Hornaday has responded to the criticisms of her column here.

Following her column about Hollywood’s influence on alleged Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger, The Post’s Ann Hornaday received swift and divided feedback on social media. Here is her response to critics. (Davin Coburn/The Washington Post)
Abby Phillip is a general assignment national reporter for the Washington Post. She can be reached at abby.phillip@washpost.com. On Twitter: @abbydphillip
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