Friday Feminist Fuck You: Seth Rogen

The R-rated trailer:

Approximate transcript after the jump.

This week we offer a big Friday feminist fuck you to Seth Rogen and the crew behind Observe and Report.
Here at feministing, as you all know, we’re not exactly uptight–as the tired old feminist stereotype goes. We curse a lot. Okay, a lot. We love ourselves really dirty jokes. Heck, we’ve thrown up graphic clips from Wanda Sykes. There’s not much that’s off limits.
But Mr. Broman Comedy Dude of the moment, Seth Rogen, is seriously misguided if he thinks women are going to sit happily and giggle at the date rape scene in his new movie. Essentially Anna Faris’ character gets horrifically drunk, throws up, and passes out in a bed. As Seth Rogen’s character is basically grinding away, he suddenly pauses and appears to have a crisis of conscious, soothed immediately by Anna Faris’ character coming to and grumbling, “Why’d you stop motherfucker?”
It’s not funny Seth. First of all, one out of six women in this country is sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Which means a whole lot of your bromen are confused about what consensual sex is. Is the laugh you get worth making them even more confused? Basically giving them permission from one of the most adored dudes of the moment to not take rape seriously? Yeah, we didn’t think so.
Come correct Seth. Put out a statement apologizing for your stupid humor and start working to prevent sexual assault instead of making light of it. Otherwise 52% of the movie-watching population just might stay at home when your movies hit the theaters.
A big Friday feminist fuck you to Seth Rogen and crew. Peace.

Join the Conversation

  • loraxaeon

    It was explained later by the NYMag reporter that she said it very dryly and and the “um, eh” afterwards was a continuation of that. She does not thing date rape is funny.
    Beyond the fact that she seems to posses a modicum of intelligence, she’s in a 30 million dollar movie with publicists and PR people around here at all times, if she had said something like that in earnest, it’d have been managed.

  • Jacob

    The comments on the Wired article made me realize how important questioning and discussing pop culture is.
    Already, in the first few comments there were the expected comments about not wanting to fuck feminists, feminists being lesbians, and misogynistic jokes and other such idiotic replies.
    This comment I thought was interesting though:
    “I’m honestly more offended by the some of the reactions people are having than to the date-rape scene itself. “Reinforces rape culture”? What? Whatever happened to people having their own internalized set of morals and standards of behavior? It’s called accountability, folks, and anyone mature enough to be viewing a film like this in the first place ought to have a firm grasp of it.
    As for the notion of defining sexuality for “impressionable children,” that’s completely ludicrous. Discretion is absolutely necessary when viewing adult material, which Observe and Report certainly is. You, as a parent, don’t let your impressionable adolescent go see an adult film by themselves and without guidance. When I was 14, if I saw an R-rated film, I would see it with my parents, and we would discuss it. They were actively involved in parenting, instead of acting out whatever simulacrum passes as such these days.
    There’s also the complete disregard for the fact that as a comedy, not only is it not meant to be taken seriously, but the situations are dramatically exaggerated for comedic effect. It’s also a black comedy, whose humor draws from the amoral and reprehensible antics of the protagonist.
    Media is a product of culture, and if people have moral concerns with media, they ought to confront the culture itself rather than the offensive media.”
    One, this commenter assumes that all adults are mature and intelligent. At my summer camp I met plenty of “adults” who acted like immature assholes and if these assholes saw a movie like Observe and Report I doubt they will see the date rape as nothing more than a fantasy they would love to make come true.
    Two, this commenter assumes that all youths are idiots. Even though at a young age one is more heavily influenced by pop culture, I think in our culture we never give kids a chance to develop their own opinion. We need to give kids the tools to question pop culture but not force morals down their throat, because than too many kids will (and I’ve seen this many times) see questioning as work and fall prey to the culture.
    Finally, isn’t commenting on a movie (that is automatically part of pop culture because it is a movie in theaters all the country and the world) confronting the culture itself?
    Side note: The writer Jody Hill’s TV Eastbound and Down kind of has the same theme (a giant racist, sexist, homophobic assholes who is an anti-hero). Even though I admit I didn’t watch the whole series, I did catch part of the series finale and I didn’t think it was that funny (and I am a person who can find things that shouldn’t be funny). Maybe Jody Hill’s writing isn’t for everyone, but everyone is in some way going to be in contact with his media, and just saying “it’s a movie” seems insufficient (especially with Jody Hill’s material).

  • loraxaeon

    To be clear before I respond, I’m male, I’ve enjoyed the work of Seth Rogen since Freaks and Geeks, and I’ve both seen and loved “Observe and Report.” Also, to actually discuss this I must mention a few things that would be considered SPOILERS, and as a movie fan I feel obligated to mention that.
    I saw the movie a week and a half ago at a preview screening (and let me know if I’m wrong but it doesn’t seem like Courtney’s seen the film, just the trailer), and I’ve been thinking about it a lot since then. I came to the conclusion, as I did with last years remake (and the original) of the film “Funny Games,” that what this film was aiming for was seductive commentary. What I mean by that is that the film lures in a target audience, in this instance college aged men (in Funny Games’ case, the torture porn crowd), has the characters do horrible reprehensible things without restraint, then ask the audience why they’re cheering for those things. The “date rape” scene is just one extension of that. I think the writer/director Jody Hill (the dude who should be the real target of this Fuck You) would agree that it is date rape, that is is wrong, horrible, and completely unconscionable and without any kind of redemption when Brandie (Anna Faris) says “why are you stopping mother fucker?”
    If you’ve seen the film, then you’ll know that scene comes after one in which Ronnie (Rogen) shows up at Brandie’s house, where Brandie is just getting home from some sort of party and is clearly already drunk before she goes out with Ronnie. Ronnie then takes Brandie to a resturant, where Brandie has tons and tons of shots, and takes a ton of Ronnie’s anti-depressants, which Ronnie takes to treat his bi-polar disorder. Besides the bi-polar, Ronnie suffers from massive delusions. He has a hero-complex, believing that his mall needs saving from attack, he has delusions that the one mall employee of middle eastern decent is the cause of all the crime in the mall and/or a terrorist (he repeatedly calls him Saddam), and he has delusions that Brandie in particular needs “saving” (whatever that means) and that he’s the only one who can save her. Ronnie has an obsession with fire-arms, and in the latter half of the movie (post-date rape), he bashes in seven or eight teen aged skateboarders’ faces, shoots up heroin, tazes an African-American mall employee without reason, snorts cocaine, locks himself in the mall and has a standoff with police wherein he bludgeons them all, appears to shoot and kill a crack dealer, break the nose of mall employee, and eventually shoot a naked man point blank in the middle of a crowded shopping mall. Now that doesn’t excuse his date-rape of Brandie obviously, but within the context of the film, to me it’s clearly just one of a number of amazingly wrong, disgusting things that Ronnie does, even if it stands out.
    Now what’s the point of having Ronnie do all that? I see Ronnie as an older version of the kind of kid I see leaving The Dark Knight, play-acting violence and destruction, which if it is repeated twelve times ever summer for the rest of that kid’s adolescence, supplemented by violent video games and comic books with unrealistic, mysognist depictions of women, might cause them to develop some kind of hero-complex that’s mixed with an insatiable desire for vigilante justice, with a predilection towards sexual-assault.
    This is an excerpt of an New York Magazine interview with Jody Hill:
    NY Mag: Ronnie’s like one of those Reaganite kids who grew up watching Red Dawn, waiting for his chance to defend the shopping mall against the Communists.
    Hill: I definitely feel like Ronnie watched those movies and took them to heart. And we play with movie clichés, like sorta pseudo–Cameron Crowe, but twisted. I hope people feel themselves caught up in a Cameron Crowe moment, but the visuals are so fucked-up that it kind of produces a really uncomfortable feeling. Like, people applaud and then they stop: “Wait, what the fuck am I applauding? He just murdered somebody.”
    Now the question I had at the time, and still do now, is whether or not that’s going to be the experience for the audience. I know that was mine (minus the cheering for a guy getting shot).
    To me, the film is funny not because of the horrible things Ronnie says or does, but because of the complete abandon of any kind of responsibility, and the absurdity of that extension of contemporary action movie morality. We laugh so that we don’t cry, or at least feel horribly uncomfortable. To bring up the Dark Knight again, seeing that in packed theater with people cackling every time someone died, and the filmmakers seeming just as gleeful, made me for more uneasy than anything in this movie because there’s a self-awareness here that other movies lack.
    There was a date-rape mention in Hill’s first film “The Foot Fist Way” too, and I think it serves a very similar purpose. The “hero” of that movie, is talking to a college aged woman about joining his Tae Kwon Doe class, she says she’d like to do it for the exercise and that she’s been doing yoga and meditation, he interrupts her and asks if those have “ever saved anyone from a date-rape type situation.” The point of that scene, and I think the one in “Report” is not to make light of date rape, but show how fucking horrible and blind these men are. I didn’t root for Ronnie at the end of “Report.” I think the movie invites you to root for him for the first 30 minutes or so, but the point of that is only to then pull the rug out from under the audience and hopefully get them thinking about the types of people we identify with in movies. The audience I saw it with applauded at a burst of grisly violence at the end, but most of the chatter I heard coming out of the theater was feeling of disgust and how wrong it was. I don’t think that unintentional either, it’s not a feel good comedy.
    Also, just to the whole “audience not getting” aspect of the film, there’s this section of the interview:
    NY Mag: It’s weird when he clobbers the Middle Eastern guy on the mall for no reason…
    Hill: People love that. And it’s not like he has a reason. People really like that. I don’t know if I understand it, but maybe that speaks to like, your earlier question about the time.
    Anyway, I suggest that people who are offended by the date-rape scene (which out of context, in the trailer, has no commentary and appears to be only a cruel, misguided joke), to actually see the entire film for themselves and take the movie as a whole, place the scene in context, and then see if maybe the filmmakers aren’t making light of sexual assault.
    To read more inarticulate ramblings on the violence in the film and how it relates to modern male moviegoers, there’s more here.

  • cubanoheat

    i fuckin hate seth rogan, always have. i was just waiting for someone to come up with a post against him on here. THANKS!

  • cubanoheat

    i dont actually remember that part in ’40 year old virgin’. what i do remember from that film, though, among other things, is a joke made about the infamous ‘tijuana donkey show’, one of the saddest types of sexual exploitation industry minfestations which i have ever had the misfortune of reading about. fucker.

  • loraxaeon

    Also, how is this campaign not a “Fuck You” topic?

  • Punchbuggy Green

    If someone hits you, I’m pretty sure it’s assault even if you consent, unless it’s in the context of a lawfully approved sporting event or something. That’s generally the law I think, though says nothing of whether the action is moral

  • wyo_cowgirl

    I really appreciate this comment. The first quote from Hill is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been looking for in the press coverage/promotional material for the film. While it doesn’t sound like he addressed the date rape directly, (I’ll have to go check out the interview to see if there’s more, obviously)–he’s acknowledging that the character’s actions are indeed morally bankrupt, and that the way they’re presented in the film is meant to provoke ambiguous feelings in the audience and question an aspect of our media culture.
    Whether viewers recognize this, and how they respond, is of course out of the artists’ hands once they’ve given it their best shot. From the reviews I’ve read, it looks as though even some likely film-savvy, educated viewers are “not getting it.” (Not even speaking here about all of us, myself included, who haven’t seen it!) Voila, internet firestorm.
    Your well-considered commentary, and the quotes from Hill, went a long way toward convincing me to check the film out. Simply labeling it “black comedy” wasn’t working for me at all.
    What Hill says here seems to be a vast improvement over the quotes I keep seeing from Rogen, Faris, etc. I wonder–if the stars had spoken to the media a little more like Hill seems to have spoken with NY magazine, would we have felt the need to go the “fuck you” route? Honestly, it was some of these comments, much more than the out-of-context trailer, that set me off.
    Props to you. :-)

  • loraxaeon

    Thanks for reading it. I was happy to find that Hill interview the other day because it confirmed what I though Hill would say.
    I think no matter what it’s a very thought provoking film, especially one positioned as a wide-audience comedy.

  • jaja

    it’s not assault. assault is a touching ( and in some jurisdictions, they needn’t be an actual touch) without a person’s consent. once there is consent there is no crime. the only area where there is a lack of consent and it is not deemed an assault would be in public places with the expectation of being touched, like a crowed subway car.

  • capillary

    Hey, thanks a lot for your comment. I agree that the rules are a little different with first-time partners because one doesn’t know them so well or understand their particular reactions to alcohol: it can be harder to gauge.
    I’m glad I seemed respectful. Consent issues are absolutely a minefield but it’s productive to have a debate about them if all concerned can be polite and thoughtful. I certainly find it helpful.

  • evann

    She DIDN’T CONSENT is the issue. Legal consent requires the mental capacity to consent. Being completely mentally impaired from alcohol renders you unable to consent- just like children, and those with developmental delays cannot legally consent- to contracts, to sex, to anything requiring legal consent.

  • Ismone

    This is exactly what you said:
    “how silly. if being drunk is thought to take away one’s ability to give consent, it would be a perfect defense to DWI.”
    The difference between being raped, and committing a DUI, is that the first one makes you a victim, the second one a criminal. You are comparing crime victims to criminals because they are drunk. That is not the way it works.
    You also said this:
    This is exactly what you said:
    “That’s certainly debateable… Why shouldn’t a woman be responsible for her actions if she is intoxicated?”
    If she rapes a man while drunk, she IS responsible for her actions. Committing a crime while drunk is rarely a defense.
    But having a crime committed against you while you are drunk does not make the crime not a crime, and does not make the offender not a criminal.
    Clearly, when you ask why shouldn’t a woman be responsible for her actions, you are implying that intoxicated women are not being responsible for their actions.
    There is a straw man in this debate–you brought it up. Unless drunk women are falsely claiming they were raped, you have no argument.

  • Ismone

    You cannot consent to assault. Nice try.

  • Ismone

    Correction–the first comment is jaja’s not yours.
    So please explain to me how women aren’t taking responsibility.

  • Ismone

    Try California law. Here is a handy dandy quiz that explains it all:
    BTW, drunk people can’t form contracts, either.

  • Jess Blue

    Maybe I missed it, but did Courtney actually see the entire film or just the preview? I’m not being an apologist or anything, I’m just wondering.

  • d. b. cooper

    If you watch the movie you might notice that while Rogen’s character is somewhat sympathetic, he is also clearly mentally disturbed (as is, for that matter, Faris’s character). What happens in a movie should not literally be taken as an endorsement of real life behavior. This is a film by Jody Hill. Mr. Hill has created three works (Foot Fist Way, HBO’s Eastbound & Down, and Observe & Report). The common thematic thread running through the two movies and one TV show is that the protagonist is all sorts of wrong. The viewer is meant to understand that what the character is doing is wrong. It is the Will Ferrell school of comedy taken to its most extreme. Any viewer that doesn’t catch on to this is so far gone that the work could not possibly affect their actions. This movie will probably turn a reasonable profit, make people who appreciate this sort of comedy laugh, and be remembered as a small comedy gem. No one will be raped as a result of it. I think that’s awesome:).

  • jjgirl23

    oh gosh I googled donkey show and that’s possibly the most horrifying thing I’ve ever heard of…. :o

  • Honeybee

    But there’s absolutely no way to tell these things from the trailer. How do we know how much he drank? And how do we know how drunk he is? Some people can seem pretty sober even though they are totally plastered.
    Personally I can’t tell from this clip whether there is an issue or not because there isn’t enough information. If the movie shows him getting shit-faced too, and she consents at the start of their sex, then I’m not clear on the outrage here. If he really isn’t drunk at all and there is no consent (hopefully they show it one way or another so it’s clear) then that’s a totally different ballgame and it’s very offensive.

  • mczz

    They don’t show it one way or the other, he’s not represented as anything, but he drives them home, and we only saw him take one shot and to her 3 or 4, plus all the other alcohol she had consumed (and pills), whereas he hadn’t. And all that happens in that scene is what you see there, no discussion before or after. She threw up on the lawn, is stumbling around and clearly really intoxicated, he kisses her, and then they cut to that.
    The issue is that someone so drunk cannot consent, and “why are you stopping motherfucker” doesn’t constitute consent in anyway in that scene, given what led up to it.

  • barefoot

    Evann, you are totally right. I don’t know where I got confused. I thought the same thing as you while I was watching the trailer, but somehow my comment got distracted (I blame being overwhelmed with dissertation writing!). So I recant, this clearly was rape, but I think that the rest of my comment still stands.
    In the trailer, what clearly IS rape is portrayed as NOT rape, and thus suggests to viewers that if you find yourself in this situation (either as rapist or as ‘victim’- I only put this in scare quotes because of the issues many people have with the word ‘victim’ when related to a survivor of sexual assault) you cannot call it rape, because it is just drunk sex and the woman most likely wants it.
    I think we can all agree, this is not okay.
    But yeah, I stand corrected on my explanation of the scene shown. I think what I was trying to get at was not what it is (i.e. rape), but what it is portrayed as by the film (i.e. sex).

  • jdalfeen

    Not only just Seth Rogan and Anna Faris — but what about the director and writers of the film, the people who actually made the film and had the decision-making power to include this scene? Shouldn’t they be the ones held responsible?

  • evann

    no prob, sorry i was a little tired and cranky!

  • dtree

    I think that the best way to view the harm done from this is to simply see what commercial effect this sort of scene has on the movie. As Courtney stated 52% of viewers “might stay at home when your movies hit the theaters.” If there is to be such a large impact, the movie industry will surely change so as to reap the maximum profits. It would be foolish of them not to.
    Let those who wish to see such a vulgar scene go and see it. Let the rest of civilization not see it, and if the section is large enough, then things will change.

  • Marcus

    I’d like to give a big Fuck You to the Feminist Fuck You.
    An FYFFY if you will.
    We don’t need feminists playing the frightened mother to our entertainment. In lieu of Christian demagouging, we now have feminists telling us it’s impossible for adults to tell the difference between fiction and reality.
    When I see a looser getting a girl drunk and floundering over the moral dillemma of having sex with her – even if she does want it, I don’t say “I WANT TO BE THAT DOUCHEBAG!” And if I did, it wouldn’t be all Seth’s fault, there’s a woman in that scene too, you think she would ever get the Fuck You? No, women are only treated as autonomous if there is ZERO male influence afflicting their fragile female minds. Give your gender more credit, even if it comes with more blame.
    And please, where are the Feminist Thank Yous? I’m sick of the negativity, and it’s the reason people are apt to tune feminists out.

  • PaperPro

    Sick of negativity? Indeed.

  • Fitz

    My claim was that if you consent while drunk, it is not/should not be defined as rape.

  • Ismone

    Still, the only reason to say women NEED to take responsibility is if women are NOT taking responsibility, and reporting men for rape, even though the woman was sober enough to consent.
    So you are suggesting that women are making false rape accusations, and considering the fact that out of all of the (male and female) rape and molest victims I’ve known, only 2 reported it to the police, you are perpetuating stereotypes that hurt people I know and care about.

  • Ismone

    The feminist thank yous are on Thursdays (Friday Fuck Yous, Thursday thank yous, get it?)
    I wrote one myself on the community blog.
    I am glad to hear that you are not a rapist. That is vastly reassuring. But considering the fact that a lot people I know have been raped (yes, including some men) or molested, if I don’t like how rape is portrayed in a film, they don’t get my money. And I will encourage others not to spend money on them either. You may think you’re oh-so-special that you don’t get influenced by the culture surrounding us, but if you really believe that everyone else is “special” like you, you have no understanding of human acculturation and psychology.
    We didn’t fucking invent rape. We have to deal with the fallout, and by we, I mean people who are feminists, and people who are good friends and family members of victims.
    And if you’re oh-so-tired of negativity, go be positive on a website that makes you happy. Instead of saying you’re tired of negativity, and engaging in it yourself in a way that does not challenge (or hell, I’ll settle for defend) the status quo or contribute in any way to the debate.

  • Fitz

    You’re good at the whole word twisting thing, high five! If you can’t figure out what I meant in context, you’re not worth arguing with.

  • idiolect

    This is nutso, the comments have gone on so long that they’re nesting with only a single word per line in my browser. Anyway, wouldn’t it be easy to quit arguing about it and just not have sex when consent is non-obvious? I think that would be easy. How about we just do that?

  • Fitz

    Yep, that would be much easier.

  • thetestosteronewars

    Yes, but his character, from what I’ve seen in the trailers, is the hero. In the movie, this is not seen as rape–or if it is, it’s not seen as bad (which is, IMO, worse). In fact, Rogan’s character is set up as saving Faris’ character from being sexually assaulted.
    What trailer are you watching?
    He’s the main character, but he’s not in anyway presented as “the hero”. He’s presented as a self aggrandizing loser who is abusing his position to take advantage of a woman. The protagonist of a story isn’t always the good guy. Context matters!

  • jaja

    why does that answer say one “could” be charged with rape. why doesn’t it say one would be charged with rape is it because it;s probable that in some instances, a drunk woman can consent?

  • jaja

    ok, why not? if you consent to being struck, it isn’t an assault. whats so hard about that

  • Ismone

    You said one sentence, which I quoted. You have failed to give it any explanation, and in context, my explanation is the only reasonable one. If I’m wrong, bloody prove it.

  • idiolect

    Perhaps you should quit arguing against it then?

  • Fitz

    You’re right… Drunk women shouldn’t be aloud to have sex.

  • Danucal

    Yes, Mariella! Also don’t forget that the main thing that separates a rapist from a non-rapist is that the non-rapist wants to give/is concerned with giving his partner pleasure. That resolves everything-because it only matters if he didn’t “intend” to rape her…Because that’s not an oversimplification of massive proportions and simultaneously the biggest mindfuck of all time.
    The description in the interview of Hill’s strategizing this loophole rape frightens the hell out of me.

  • Betty Boondoggle

    “And please, where are the Feminist Thank Yous? I’m sick of the negativity, and it’s the reason people are apt to tune feminists out.”
    We’re sick of prissy, privileged, clueless dudes coming by with absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, but still full of the belief that anyone cares what they think.
    Take a hike. No one gives a crap about how ignorant you are, no matter how badly you want to show us.

  • Ismone

    Not according to the law. Under the law, you can never consent to assault.

  • Ismone

    Because not all rapists get charged with rape.

  • allegra

    Yeah. Not to mention from the trailer that the WHOLE FUCKING MOVIE is obviously about dumbasses on an epic noble crusade to achieve some entirely typical version of violent dysfunctional masculinity.
    I almost LMAO when I read the Wired article and the guy who wrote or produced or directed the movie was like, “I wanted this to be really different, real edgy and unusual.” REALLY, moron? ‘Cause it’s the SAME SHIT I’ve been seeing come out at movie theaters every goddamn weekend.

  • what is this

    Okay I’m a little confused. If you had acually seen the movie, Rogan is clueless to what the hell this girl is doing, pretty much using him for his pills and pounding down booze left and right. She gets shit faced he takes her home yes because hes stupid and thinks hes in love or some sillyness. He does her because she acted like a slut previously and even says “why the fuck are you stopping” to egg him on.
    This is not rape,although possibly a bit uncomfertable to some. This is a joke about sluts being drunk and guys being confused and horny.
    With these kind of movies, how could you not expect such a thing? Seriously? if you don’t like him or the jokes they use, DON’T WANT IT.

  • what is this

    Okay I’m a little confused. If you had acually seen the movie, Rogan is clueless to what the hell this girl is doing, pretty much using him for his pills and pounding down booze left and right. She gets shit faced he takes her home yes because hes stupid and thinks hes in love or some sillyness. He does her because she acted like a slut previously and even says “why the fuck are you stopping” to egg him on.
    This is not rape,although possibly a bit uncomfertable to some. This is a joke about sluts being drunk and guys being confused and horny.
    With these kind of movies, how could you not expect such a thing? Seriously? if you don’t like him or the jokes they use, DON’T WANT IT.

  • Naught

    I thought this take on Observe and Report was interesting and worth reading.

  • darklitfem

    “This is a joke about sluts being drunk and guys being confused and horny.”
    Thank you for proving the point of this post.

  • ohmyheavens

    I completely agree, did Courtney not realize Anna Farris is the other lead in this movie. Courtney if you don’t already know it is not girl bashing to call other women out on perpetuating b.s. attitudes about rape. I’m guessing you jumped on Rogen because he was the easiest target.