Elliot Rodger California shooting: Seth Rogen 'horrified' at suggestion his work inspired mass murderer's rampage against women

A Washington Post article linked the 'casual misogyny' of Bad Neighbours to the motivations behind Rodger's shooting spree

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The Independent Online

Seth Rogen has expressed his outrage at an article that suggested films he has starred in inspired mass murderer Elliot Rodger to go on a shooting rampage in California against women over the weekend.

Ann Hornaday, a film critic for the Washington Post, pin-pointed the work of the actor and famed comedy director Judd Apatow as possible motivation for the killing spree, which ended the lives of six young people and injured 13 more.

She wrote that “mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white men, whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfilment (often, if not always, featuring a steady through-line of casual misogyny).”

“How many students watch outsized frat-boy fantasies like Bad Neighbours and feel, as Rodger did, unjustly shut-out of college life that should be full of ‘sex and fun and pleasure’?” she continued.


“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’?

“Movies may not reflect reality, but they powerfully condition what we desire, expect and feel we deserve from it.”

Rogen took to Twitter to express his anger at the publication of the piece, which he labelled “horribly insulting and misinformed”.



Apatow soon joined in, criticising Hornaday’s use of tragedy “to promote herself”.



The news comes after Mahbod Moghadam, the US co-founder of Rap Genius, was forced to resign for posting “gleeful and misogynistic” comments on Rodger’s chilling 141-page manifesto.

“Elliot barely mentions his sister Georgia throughout the book,” one of his notes read. “Towards the end, however, he tells us that they did not get along and becomes extremely angry when he hears her having sex with her boyfriend. MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot[sic].”

The 22-year-old son of Hunger Games assistant director Peter Rodger emailed the lengthy manifesto to 30 people before he carried out the killings in the student beach community of Isla Vista, including his mother, father and former teachers.

Rodger stabbed his three flatmates, before fatally shooting two women outside a sorority house.

He then shot a man inside the IV Deli Mart and drove around the streets in his black BMW, shooting wildly at pedestrians. He turned the gun on himself during a gun battle with deputies.

All six victims have been named by police: the three men stabbed to death were identified as George Chen, 19, Cheng Yuan Hong, 20, and Weihan Wang, 20. The three people shot were named as Katie Cooper, 22,  Veronkia Weiss, 19, and Christopher Michael-Martinez, 20.