Popular Culture

Film Critic Draws Parallels Between Buddy Comedies and Isla Vista Rampage; Seth Rogen Hits the Roof


We haven’t seen Seth Rogen this incensed since Justin Bieber’s Believe hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200! The outspoken Canadian is seething over a Washington Post op-ed piece, in which respected film critic Ann Hornaday suggests that Judd Apatow comedies and Rogen’s recent comedy hit, Neighbors, may have a connection with last week’s attack on a college community outside Santa Barbara.

On Friday, three people were fatally stabbed in an apartment building and three more were shot to death in Isla Vista, near the campus of the University of California Santa Barbara. The accused killer is 22-year-old student Elliot Rodger. He was later found dead from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Rodger, whose father served as a second-unit director on the 2012 film The Hunger Games, wrote a 141-page manifesto detailing his supposed reasons for wanting to kill and released a seven-minute YouTube video detailing his plans murder. Rodger, who had reportedly been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism), described a lifetime of sadness due to being snubbed by women. A misogynistic rant, in which he raves about women failing to respond to him as was his entitlement (because, after all, he had a penis), inspired the #YesAllWomen hashtag — which promptly began trending on Twitter.

Hornaday wrote an article titled, In A Final Videotaped Message, “A Sad Reflection Of The Sexist Stories We So Often See On Screen.” In the piece, she writes in part:

“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?’ Movies may not reflect reality, but they powerfully condition what we desire, expect and feel we deserve from it.”

Almost immediately, Seth, 32, took a break from lighting joints with Snoop Dogg to light into Hornsday instead.

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

Lensman Apatow also responded to the article on Twitter, accusing Hornaday of using the tragedy in Santa Barbara to promote her own agenda.


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