The comedic actor described Ann Hornaday's piece as "horribly insulting and misinformed," after she called out his latest hit for fueling the disenchantment felt by the 22-year-old son of "Hunger Games" second-unit director, Peter Rodger.
After writing a 141-page manifesto, Rodger carried out a deadly rampage on Friday night in the Isla Vista area of Santa Barbara, Calif., that left six people dead and 13 injured.
"It all has to come to this," Rodger stated during a nearly seven-minute "Retribution" video uploaded to YouTube on May 23. He later added: "After I've annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I'll take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there."
In her op-ed column in response to the tragedy, Hornaday wrote: "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'?"
"Movies may not reflect reality, but they powerfully condition what we desire, expect and feel we deserve from it," she added.
Hornaday went on to state: "If our cinematic grammar is one of violence, sexual conquest and macho swagger — thanks to male studio executives who green-light projects according to their own pathetic predilections — no one should be surprised when those impulses take luridly literal form in the culture at large.
"Producer and director Apatow also responded to the article, claiming it was self promotional and idiotic. "Why is it always everything but mental illness?" asked the "Bridesmaids" and "Knocked Up" producer. "Because that doesn't sell papers."
After previously writing for The New York Times Arts & Leisure section and the Baltimore Sun, Hornaday has been with the Washington Post since 2002 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism in 2008.