Washington Post columnist Ann Hornaday responded Tuesday to the Hollywood backlash over her op-ed piece tying the 2014 comedy “Neighbors” with the tragic shooting spree last week. In an online video, Hornaday says she was just posing “questions that might be useful,” but also doubled down in pondering what “the costs” are of these kind of films.
“In singling out Judd Apatow and ‘Neighbors,’ I, in no means meant to cast blame on those movies or Judd Apatow’s work for this heinous action. But I do think it bears all of us asking what the costs are having such a narrow range of stories that we constantly go back to,” said Hornaday.
She acknowledges that she’s received “quite a response on social media” and understands “why Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow might feel defensive.”
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) May 27, 2014
Here is the excerpt of her op-ed that outraged Hollywood:
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”?
“For generations,” she added, “mass entertainment has been overwhelmingly controlled by white me whose escapist fantasies so often revolve around vigilantism and sexual wish-fulfillment.”
Hornaday insists in her video response that the reason she weighed in on the shooting incident is “because of this YouTube video and the extraordinary Hollywood-like production values and context out of which it seemed to spring. As a film critic, what I wanted to do was think about what echoes we heard from a larger culture and maybe pose some questions that might be useful. At least, judging from my inbox today, a lot people do think those are questions worth asking.”
Media critic Bernard Goldberg told the “O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday night that Hornaday’s writing is an example of “shallow, unserious thinking masquerading as thoughtful journalism.”
“She’s now saying ‘I never said they were responsible.'” Goldberg told Fox News. “‘I’m just raising questions’ is what she says… You can’t help but in concluding that she’s linking, if not, blaming these films on the murders.”