Hollywood Heavyweights Fire Back After Film Critic Ties New Comedy to Santa Barbara Shooting Rampage (UPDATE: Critic Responds)

Given 22-year-old Elliot Rodger’s apparent sexual and social frustrations highlighted in his YouTube videos and 141-page manifesto, a Washington Post film critic made the case that popular college-age comedies from actor Seth Rogen and director Judd Apatow could have influenced Rodger, who police said killed six students at the University of California, Santa Barbara and then himself.

“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?’” Ann Hornaday wrote. “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?’”

Actor Seth Rogen, right, and his wife Lauren Miller attend the premiere of the feature film “Neighbors” on Monday, April 28, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP Images)

Rogen fired back on Twitter, calling Hornaday’s article “horribly insulting and misinformed” and saying the shootings were caused by a “lunatic.”

Apatow, who has worked with Rogen in multiple films including “Pineapple Express” and “Knocked Up,”  joined in the fray as well, saying one focus should be on mental health issues.

UPDATE: Here’s Hornaday’s video response to the pushback against her piece: