Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow are sticking together and taking a stand. The actor and the writer-director, who have worked together on flicks such as Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, both spoke out this week against a recent op-ed in the Washington Post.
Journalist Ann Hornaday penned a column for the paper after the violent rampage that took place in Isla Vista, Calif. this weekend. Hornaday, who largely focuses on films in her writing, titled the piece, "In a final videotaped message, a sad reflection of the sexist stories we so often see on screen," in reference to a YouTube video recorded by a alleged gunman Elliot Rodger.
The late Rodger, 22, is suspected of killing six people at the University of California, Santa Barbara, including two women, who were shot outside of one of the school's sororities. Before the tragedy, Rodger posted a now-infamous video of himself speaking about "rotting in loneliness" and seeking "retribution," and a 140-page "manifesto" titled "My Twisted World" about his "sadness, anger, and hatred" and his trouble fitting in and continued rejection from "the females of the human species."
In her Washington Post essay, Hornaday writes, "As important as it is to understand Rodger’s actions within the context of the mental illness he clearly suffered, it’s just as clear that his delusions were inflated, if not created, by the entertainment industry he grew up in."
"As Rodger bemoaned his life of 'loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desire' and arrogantly announced that he would now prove his own status as 'the true alpha male,' he unwittingly expressed the toxic double helix of insecurity and entitlement that comprises Hollywood’s DNA," she wrote. "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'?" she continued, referencing Rogen's new movie. "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'?"
After being referenced in the piece, Rogen, 32, took to Twitter, ".@AnnHornaday I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed," he tweeted. "How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage."
Apatow, 46, chimed in, "She uses tragedy to promote herself with idiotic thoughts." He later added, "Most of Earth can't find a mate-- someone to love. People who commit murder of numerous people have mental health issues of some type."
Hornaday has yet to comment on the Rogen and Apatow's comments.