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."
.@AnnHornaday I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 26, 2014
.@AnnHornaday how dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 26, 2014
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.
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.— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) May 27, 2014
UPDATE: Here's Hornaday's video response to the pushback against her piece: