1. Updated — 4:23 p.m. ET
2. Actor Seth Rogen and director Judd Apatow have hit back at the Washington Post’s film critic after she suggested their movies may have played a part in motivating Elliot Rodger’s mass killing in California.
In an opinion column, “In a final videotaped message, a sad reflection of the sexist stories we so often see on screen,” Ann Hornaday referenced the pair’s work, including Rogen’s new film Neighbors.
4. Hornaday wrote in her piece, published on Sunday:
For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny).
Rodger’s rampage may be a function of his own profound distress, but it also shows how a sexist movie monoculture can be toxic for women and men alike.
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.
5. Rogen responded angrily to Hornaday’s comments on Twitter on Tuesday:
7. Director Apatow also responded to the Washington Post feature in the early hours of the morning.
10. Rodger, 22, was the son of Peter Rodger, assistant director of The Hunger Games.
Police said he stabbed his three male housemates to death before driving through Isla Vista on a shooting spree, killing three others.
After a shoot-out with police, he was found dead in a black BMW (above) with a gunshot wound to the head.
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