WaPost Critic Responds to Seth Rogen, Judd Apatow’s Anger Over Column on Elliot Rodger Killings

And tragedy becomes a media story once again

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 9:40 AM

The sideshow continues.

Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday wrote a column over the weekend that more or less linked the sort of schlubby-guy-gets-the-girl comedies that Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen have perfected to the mass murder perpetrated by Elliot Rodger in Isla Vista. That got the producer/director and actor angry, which led to some harsh words on Twitter.

Also read: Police Confirm UCSB Shooter as Elliot Rodger, 3 Bodies Found in Shooter’s Home

Now, Hornaday has responded with a video explaining her reasons for writing the column, making this an official media battle sideshow several steps removed from the actual tragedy.

“It seemed that his self-pitying complaints, a lot of them and to do with a sense of entitlement that he had to a life he had seen reflected around him,” Hornaday explained, “and I wanted to tease out that the movies we watch that are primarily created by men and primarily pivot around male fantasies of wish fulfillment and vigilante justice, how that might inform not only someone suffering under a really terrible mental illness, but the culture at large in terms of conditioning our own expectations about what we think life is and what we feel we deserve from it.”

After that clarification, Hornaday semi-apologized.

“In singling out ‘Neighbors’ and Judd Apatow, I by no means meant to cast blame on those movies or Judd Apatow‘s work for this heinous action, obviously not,” she said. “But I do think it bears all of us asking what the costs are of having such a narrow range of stories that we always go back to.”