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After Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow complained about her column, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday tried to explain what she meant by writing about Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger and how his Hollywood life may have had an impact on his actions. Rodger killed six people over the weekend before taking his own life.
In her original essay, Hornaday appeared to link Rodger’s actions to Hollywood movies, particularly Rogen’s Neighbors and Apatow’s raunchy comedies. She suggested that he was also influenced in his high-quality YouTube posts about how he was rejected by women.
Rogen and Apatow were not happy to be linked to Rodger. Rogen called the piece “horribly insulting and misinformed,” adding, “how dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage.”
Later on Tuesday, Hornaday recorded a video response and wrote a second essay. She said she understood why Rogen and Apatow would be angry and shared other positive and negative responses to the piece. However, she still suggested that it is time for Hollywood and filmmakers to start diversifying the stories they tell in films.
“...In my capacity as a movie critic, I was looking at [Rodger’s YouTube video] as a lens through which to examine questions about sexism, insecurity and entitlement, how they’ve threaded their way through an entertainment culture historically dominated by men and how they’ve shaped our own expectations as individuals and a culture,” Hornaday wrote. “At a time when women account for less than 20 percent of filmmakers behind the camera and protagonists in front of it, I suggested that it’s long past time to expand and diversify the stories we tell ourselves.”
Rogen and Apatow haven’t responded to Hornaday yet. She is hopeful that her essays will keep the conversation going, though, when it comes to the stories Hollywood tells.
image courtesy of INFPhoto.com