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Judd Apatow’s latest film This Is 40 hits theaters on Friday and the film includes a child murder joke that has gained attention in the wake of the tragic Newtown, Connecticut shootings. Apatow said that he will not remove the joke, noting that he wrote the script over two years ago, long before Friday’s tragedy.
According to The Wrap, the film features a scene where Albert Brooks’ character tells a group of children, “Line up! Line up for murder! Come on! Who wants to be killed?” One yells, “I do!” Another says, “Murder me!”
Brooks replies, “All right. The kids are murdered...That will save us some money.”
In a statement to TMZ, Apatow noted that the script was written two years ago. The scene “is spoken by a sarcastic father kidding with his children. In light of recent events, I understand if some people might make an unfortunate association or put it in a context in which it was not intended,” he said.
The film, which stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, is opening wide this weekend, so it would have been difficult to edit the movie just days before its release.
Other Hollywood studios have decided to cancel events this week because of the shootings. Paramount scrapped the red carpet event before Tom Cruise’s Jack Reacher premiere in Pittsburgh over the weekend, which was rescheduled for last night. The Weinstein Company also cancelled the LA premiere for Django Unchained.
Paramount is also taking out scenes of gun violence from its marketing for Jack Reacher.