Ann Hornaday, the Washington Post's film critic, published an op-ed yesterday that implied that one of the principal reasons for Elliot Rodger's mass killing in Isla Vista was the white men of Hollywood's "escapist fantasies [that] so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment." Hornaday specifically called out both Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen's recently-released Neighbors as an example.
From the op-ed:
"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"?
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 tweeted his response to Hornaday this evening:
Judd Apatow also tweeted at Hornaday, claiming the article was self-promotional and idiotic.
And Apatow later suggested that the op-ed was published for shock value.
Hornaday has yet to respond to the critiques.