.@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
Seth Rogen, star of the new comedy “Neighbors,” is not about to let anyone blame him or his movie for the killing spree in Isla Vista, Calif., that killed six people on Friday.
How is Rogen to blame, anyway (hypothetically speaking)? Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday laid out her case in a piece about the killings published Sunday. Hornady writes:
For generations, mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny). [Elliot] Rodger’s rampage may be a function of his own profound distress, but it also shows how a sexist movie monoculture can be toxic for women and men alike.
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”? 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”?
That’s not much of an argument. What does anyone else think?
Not everyone was so ready to let Hollywood off the hook, however.