Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow call out critic for linking their films to UCSB shooting

Neighbors

Anne Hornaday singled out Rogen’s new film, Neighbors

On Sunday, Washington Post film critic Anne Hornaday wrote an op-ed attempting to link the University of California at Santa Barbara shootings to the “toxic double helix of insecurity and entitlement that comprises Hollywood’s DNA.” In one paragraph, she singled out Seth Rogen’s new film, Neighbors:

“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’?”

Hornaday goes on to cite a statistic: “Women made up just 16 percent of directors, writers, producers, cinematographers and editors working on the top 250 movies of 2013; similarly, women accounted for just 15 percent of protagonists in those films.” This is a distressing reality, and yes, Hollywood’s rampant sexism needs to be called out, over and over. There are several other films currently in theaters, like Adam Sandler’s Blended, for instance, that are full of sexist tropes, stereotypes, and tired misogynistic jokes. There are decades of films that glorify violence against women.

However, attempting to tie a mass murder to the Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow manchild franchise days after a tragedy is lazy, much like attempting to blame video games for Rodger’s actions. Rogen and Apatow responded on Twitter.

Despite her tenuous connection, Hornaday’s article does offer some insight into the well-funded entitlement and institutionalized sexism in Hollywood filmmaking. Yes, Rogen and Apatow make movies that portray unrealistic male-female relationships. Is it fair to say they drove a mentally unstable man’s desire for “retribution”?

Screengrab via Universal Pictures/YouTube 

Audra Schroeder

Audra Schroeder

Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.