The Hollywood comic actor Seth Rogen has posted angry tweets in response to an opinion piece by the Washington Post’s film critic Ann Hornaday, who claimed that films like Rogen’s current hit Bad Neighbours could encourage killings like the ones perpetrated by Elliot Rodger.
Rodger, the son of an assistant director of the Hunger Games, killed six people in southern California before turning his gun on himself. In videos posted online before the crimes, he said he was being driven to violence thanks to being rejected by women.
“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’?” Hornaday wrote in an opinion column. “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’?
“If our cinematic grammar is one of violence, sexual conquest and macho swagger — thanks to male studio executives who green-light projects according to their own pathetic predilections — no one should be surprised when those impulses take luridly literal form in the culture at large.”
Rogen, the ‘shlubby arrested adolescent’ alluded to by Rodger, responded on Twitter by saying “I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed” and “how dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.”
Judd Apatow, who directed Rogen in Knocked Up, also entered the fray, retweeting Rogen and adding “She uses tragedy to promote herself with idiotic thoughts.” Rodger made no direct reference to any films as inspirations for his killings.