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Director James Toback hits back at journalist's massacre comments

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May 29, 2014 | 4:25am EDT

Director James Toback has fired back at the journalist who suggested films like his 1987 romantic comedy The Pick-Up Artist inspired Elliot Rodger's killing spree in Isla Vista, California last week (23May14) . The 22-year-old son of The Hunger Games assistant director Peter Rodger killed six and injured a further 13 in a shoot-out on Friday, hours after leaving a videotaped "manifesto" expressing his frustration and bitterness about his inability to enjoy the wild student experience he expected. In a piece in the Washington Post on Sunday (25May14), film critic Ann Hornaday suggested the frat comedies of director Judd Apatow may have left Rodger with unrealistic expectations, and compared the killer to Robert Downey, Jr.'s character in Toback's 1987 film. Hornaday wrote, "Rodger resembled a noxious cross between Christian Bale’s slick sociopath in American Psycho, the thwarted womanizer in James Toback’s The Pick-up Artist and every Bond villain." Responding to the comments Toback tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "The demented and evil Elliot Rodger bares the same resemblance to Robert Downey, Jr. in his charmingly self-mocking performance in The Pick-up Artist as Ann Hornaday does to a rationally competent movie reviewer - which is to say less than zero.” On Tuesday (27May14) Seth Rogen took to Twitter.com to slam Hornaday for suggesting his roles in Apatow's films contributed in any way to Rodger's actions, tweeting, "I find your article horribly insulting and misinformed... How dare you imply that me getting girls in movies caused a lunatic to go on a rampage."

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