- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow are hitting back after Washington Post columnist Ann Hornaday suggested Sunday that “outsized frat-boy fantasies” like the movie “Neighbors” had partly contributed to Elliot Rodger’s deadly rampage in California that left six victims dead.

Rodger, dubbed the “virgin killer,” fatally stabbed and shot four men and two women before killing himself in the Isla Vista neighborhood of Santa Barbara County on Friday night. He had published a YouTube manifesto vowing revenge on all the women who rejected him and men who dated them.

Miss Hornaday penned an op-ed over the weekend arguing that it is “clear” that his delusions “were inflated, if not created, by the entertainment industry he grew up in.”

“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 writes. “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’?”

Seth Rogen, the leading actor of “Neighbors,” fired back Monday night, calling Miss Hornaday’s article “horribly insulting and misinformed.”

“[H]ow dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage,” he said.

Judd Apatow, who has directed so-called “frat-boy” movies such as “Knocked Up” and “40-Year-Old Virgin,” which both featured Mr. Rogen, issued a scathing tweet Monday night, saying Miss Hornaday “uses tragedy to promote herself with idiotic thoughts.”

Mr. Apatow then set his sights on The Washington Post: “[W]ith every view her paper makes money from discussing a story no one yet knows anything about. Now it is a media profit center.”

“Remember everyone — ads next to articles generate money. They say something shocking and uninformed & get you to click on it to profit,” he said.

“Here is how it all works,” the director continued. “Anne says something thoughtless. I say it is wrong then CNN asks everyone to debate and it becomes TV. I said no. I wonder if Anne can prevent herself from going on and becoming part of how these tragic events become profit centers for media.”