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

  • jjgirl23

    Thank you so much for this one. ]I hate Seth Rogan!!
    Maybe his career will crash and burn after this movie. :)

  • sarah714

    Anna Faris could take some heat for this, too, instead of unloading only on Seth Rogan.
    (besides the two token “oh, and the crew, too.”)

  • jjgirl23

    Agreed.

  • Lilith Luffles

    Thank you. Unfortunately, nobody is going to realize they are laughing at rape. This scene reinforces the idea that having sex with a woman who is passed out drunk is just sex, not rape.
    Anna Farris should be held accountable, too, as she agreed to do this scene, despite the fact that her own sex is the one being raped like this a majority of the time. How I hate sharing a first name with her ;_;
    Also, I would not give Seth Rogen the credit of thinking that something like that is wrong. The asshat doucheface pervert Seth in Superbad was modeled after Seth Rogen’s life as a teen (I think.) I hardly doubt that this man gives a shit about women. I have yet to see any proof that he does.

  • Barbaragordon

    Yeah I saw that trailer and it had me reeaaally squicked.
    I have a serious question though! See whenever I say to men in real life or the internet, that rape doesnt seem like good joke material to me. They say “Well people joke about murder and death all the time, and that’s worse right?”
    And I really dont mind violent movies, i like my explosions and my bang bang shoot em ups. But i really dont feel comfortable with rape jokes! So what do I say? Am I just being a hypocrate

  • Pantheon

    I think the main difference is that there are situations where killing someone is justified, but there are really no situations where rape is justified. I think rape is more on par with torture- and I guess some people are ok with watching torture in movies but most people are probably a lot less ok with it than they are with watching shooting in an action flick.

  • Pantheon

    Oh, and while I guess some people are ok with torture in a movie that’s meant to save people from terrorists– like Jack Bauer stuff– how many people enjoy watching a movie with torture for no reason other than the enjoyment of the torturer?

  • Qi

    Given that this was written and directed by Jody Hill, is he the one that is to blame for this scene? How much power do actors and actresses like Seth Rogen and Anna Faris have? I remember when Katherine Heigl said Knocked Up was “a little bit sexist”, and then was forced to backtrack.

  • Lilith Luffles

    Here is how I see it.
    It depends on what you mean by ‘violent.’ Do you mean a person gets shot and dies? A person gets shot, is still alive, then is killed? Or a person gets shot, begs and pleads for their life, bawling, pleading to live while the assailant laughs in their face?
    There is a difference between the physical and emotional attacks we see inflicted on people in fiction. Usually, people recover from physical attacks and do just fine. But emotional abuse is more eerie, it stays with people. And when you mix physical with emotional, that’s the worst kind. Rape is in the category of mixing physical with emotional.
    Also, rape is something that society sees as a gray area. Murder is murder, and murder is always wrong. But a lot of men who rape don’t realize what they are doing is rape, they just feel they have conquered a holder of the sacred pussy, and think that they have a right to her body, so it can’t be rape. And unfortunately, a lot of people agree with rapists.

  • Pantheon

    In general I don’t know how much power a random actor would have, but isn’t Seth Rogan usually the executive producer of his own movies? Even if he isn’t in this case, he obviously chose to do this movie, and its not like he’s struggling for work.

  • BROWN TRASH PUNK!

    Honestly, I don’t see how the drunk rape scene is offensive.

  • vtfem

    I think that you can say that it’s irresponsible to show someone raping a person who is unconsious and pretend like it’s consensual sex. The difference is that when someone is shot, the majority of people define that as murder. When people see a woman being raped by her boyfriend or SO, a lot of people don’t understand that the act is in fact rape.
    That’s the difference.

  • jjgirl23

    They chose to star in this movie. Seth Rogen is a big enough actor that he could have turned this movie down and done something else, if he chose to.

  • Qi

    When people joke about murder and death, it’s so obvious that it’s only a joke. The problem is there are a lot of young people out there that don’t have a clear idea on what is or could constitute rape. It’s not obvious to a 14 year old kid that continuing to have sex with a woman when she is passed out is legally rape. It’s very harmful, for young men too. People will get themselves into trouble because they do not understand the consequences of their actions. Spreading this kind of information around is dangerous.

  • Lilith Luffles

    Sorry, but you’re wrong. A lot of people watch torture movies just for the sake of watching torture. A lot of horror movies are just some psycho or monster torturing innocent people, with no reason other than “they are a monster/psycho and he/she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
    I personally can’t stand the horror genre, simply because I don’t understand how watching a naked woman get stabbed repeatedly while begging for her life (or countless other ‘please don’t!’ scenes’) is ‘entertainment.’

  • v.georgiades

    Wow… just… wow. Not having a TV I miss the majority of the previews out there so I hadn’t seen that one yet. And all that comes to mind is, what the FUCK?
    Power-hungry angry scary men in uniforms, unwarranted police brutality, teenagers who are once again portrayed as trouble makers deserving of violent punishment, bad penis joke focussed on race, and date rape, all in one trailer? can’t wait to see the movie. NOT.

  • jaja

    look like there is consent there. where’s the rape? she told him to go on. he actually looked worried at first that maybe he was fucking a sleeping (or worse) girl, hence no intent to sex her without her consent. she reassured him. where’s the rape

  • cand86

    This is why Mike Myers has Seth Rogen totally beat. From the “Austin Powers” script:
    “They are both on the bed. She looks at him. He looks at her. There is an awkward silence.
    She’s about to kiss him, then he pulls away.
    AUSTIN: I can’t. You’re drunk.”
    And he doesn’t. And he’s quite more of a lady’s man and eternal horndog than any of Seth Rogen’s characters!

  • Mariella

    I’m with Qi on this one
    The difference is that murder is not generally considered to be a “gray area.” You’re not going to watch an action movie, and then think that it’s totally cool to go out and kill everyone in your path. And you know what, if you DO copy an action movie, you’re going to jail.
    Rape, especially the kind apparently depicted in this movie, is rarely considered to actually be rape by the general population. Women who are raped in these situations are always blamed. And the men never go to jail. So this movie is adding its support to the victim-blaming, rape-supporting masses. And that is very different.
    When people start taking rape seriously, when the rate of rape goes way down, when rapists start going to jail, and when murder jokes involve the victim asking the murderer to keep going, then maybe we can start feeling like hypocrites.

  • Mariella

    um don’t you think he maybe should have obtained consent BEFORE he started?

  • whaler

    I think the character is supposed to be some sort of bipolar psychopath along the lines of a chubbier Robert Deniro in Taxi Driver. Look I’m totally against date rape however I think just keeping it out of movies isn’t helping the cause at all. Should we just pretend this shit doesn’t happen? I haven’t seen the movie, I don’t know how this was handled. However I don’t think it was supposed to be just “lol date rape” I think it was supposed to show what a morally corrupt person the character is.
    Also everything an actor does in a movie doesn’t mean they as a person would do it, or condone it. It’s pretty hilarious that you can’t separate the two.
    I mean if you’re going to be mad at Seth, be mad at him because a woman of his level of attractiveness could never make it in Hollywood.

  • newfeminist

    It’s because it’s impossible for a murder victim to hear jokes making light of their situation. Whereas there’s a strong possibility that someone still suffering from the traumatizing consequences of being raped will hear or come across the joke. That’s why it’s not ok. It’s insensitive to the very real people affected by this crime.

  • jaja

    from the clip it isn’t clear that it did not. her consent may have been implied rather than expressed, and his reaction showed him to question whether he was wrong. and she humorously let him know he had the green light.
    if she viewed it as rape, why would she tell him to continue

  • jane

    Trolls!!!

  • Grace

    The fact that you or anyone else would consider something mumbled by a shitfaced passed-out woman through the vomit on her face “consent” is precisely the problem.

  • Pantheon

    I did say that some people do enjoy watching torture movies– my contention was that its fewer people than those that like action movies. Action movies, with fairly clean deaths of unknown people, are far more mainstream than up close and personal torture movies.

  • Pantheon

    Well, it is possible that the sister of a murder victim could hear the jokes.

  • Peter

    OK, I’ve seen little more of Observe and Report than this trailer. Have you seen the entire bedroom scene?
    Here’s why I ask.
    What I see in that clip is the following. Brandi appears to have fallen asleep during sex. Ronie notices this and stops “grinding away.” (Is that what guys do, “grind”?) He asks if she’s awake: “Brandi! Brandi! [pause] … uh, Brandi?” Then the joke.
    Ronnie is not having a “crisis of conscience”; he does not say anything like, “Fuck, what the hell am I doing?”
    He is noticing, it seems, that that the situation has changed — that a person he thought was awake is now asleep. (If he thought she was unconscious the whole time, then why say her name?)
    I suppose it all depends upon the footage directly before that shot. Had she been unconscious for the duration? Had she been awake? Had she participated consensually in this act as it began?
    Regardless, the scene is not as you say it is. And part of me wants to say “Fuck You” to anyone who tossed Fuck Yous around so lightly.
    But there is a real debate, I suppose, even if the scene is exactly as I describe it (i.e., if Brandi has fallen asleep/passed out during sex).
    First question, can an inebriated person ever give consent?
    Second question, if someone loses consciousness during sex and the partner realizes it — for example, if Ronnie thinks that Brandi is talking in her sleep when she says “Why’d you stop” — must that partner stop. (Recall that Rogan’s character DOES stop. The problem might be that he starts up again. Does he think that she’s asleep hen he does this? Does he think that she has stopped consenting?)
    Third question, perhaps, is how many signs of consciousness does a partner have to show? Usually, talking is taken to be such a sign — although the joke here is clearly that Faris’s character also seems to be asleep.
    Last question but perhaps the most important. Why so much ire not just for this scene or film, but for Seth Rogan — an actor who seems to have done as much as any A-list actor to challenge and lampoon masculine and masculinist stereotypes?

  • quiet type, oh

    I took this from an interview on aintitcool.com It seems like he thinks that people will know that its messed up, but its that awkwardness and relief when she yells at him about stopping allows the audience to laugh. I think its fucked up, but here’s what he said about it.
    Quint: And what’s fucked up even beyond that is that not only does that happen, but that’s also what redeems the character for all the straight guys in the movie.
    Seth Rogen: Exactly! And somehow everyone thinks it’s heroic and it somehow just works. What I love about Jody, is he really paints the characters into a corner and then somehow gets them out, like in the eyes of the audience. He has the character do things where you are thinking “How will I ever like this person again? How will they redeem themselves from this? What is the thing that they will say that will actually make this OK?” They see me having sex with Anna Farris while she’s unconscious and you could tell the audience is thinking “What?!? How are they going to make this acceptable?” “What can possibly be said that makes this something that’s alright to put in a movie?”
    And then he somehow comes up with the one thing that makes it all okay you know and it’s the same thing with the chase in the end, like I know the audience is thinking “How is this possibly going to end in a way that is satisfying? What is he going to do? How is this going to resolve itself?” And it does and he found the one way to do it and it does everything that you need it to and it’s very satisfying. It’s not much different than like action movies work, where you put your characters in these impossible situations and it’s like “How are they going to get out of it?” What the fuck is that?!?

  • Pantheon

    You’re right that this clip doesn’t show whether she consents at the start. But I just read an article at Slate that said that based on the preview they assumed there would be mitigating scenes like that in the movie, but that once they saw the movie they thought it was even more clearly rape.

  • http://getopenid.com/domesticachievement

    I am confused. 1 in 6? I thought it was 1 in 3? Please cite source so I can educate myself.

  • Grace

    But Seth gave an interview where he literally asked “How can you possibly make date rape funny?” and his answer was the line delivered by Faris.

  • Pantheon

    I generally agree that its ok for movies to depict rape because it does actually happen. The issue I have with this scene is that it doesn’t seem like the people who made the movie consider it to be a rape scene. If someone later on in the movie says something like “that was rape and that’s fucked up” then I’d be more ok with it (I still wouldn’t watch it though, it looks like a very unpleasant movie).

  • whaler

    Ugh. I really like him. I wish he were more intelligent. He doesn’t fucking get it, that’s disappointing. I think he’s just ignorant he never went to college so probably never had a woman’s studies major type person put him in his place.
    I officially volunteer for this job.

  • Pantheon

    I haven’t seen the movie either, but according to this article ( http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2009/04/does_seth_rogen_rape_anna_fari.html ), the full movie makes it even more clear that the woman is incapable of giving consent. (I misspoke earlier when I said it was an article at Slate, I got them mixed up). From the trailer where they’re walking into his house, she is throwing up without noticing it, and he seems pretty sober. Even if she did say she wanted to have sex, she’s clearly completely out of it and he’s not. I’m usually more ambivalent in cases where both people were wasted, but this looks like he was fine and she was passing out.

  • Pantheon
  • Peter

    Thanks for the link, Pantheon. I have had second thoughts about my post. Not for its argument, which still seems pretty sound (i.e., it makes a difference what Ronnie thinks is happening, and the film gives us clues about that).
    But I think one could toss out a Fuck You at the decision to make jokes about the possibility of non-consensual sex. That is, the choice to play around with the idea — to make it the subject of a joke, even if you construct the scene so that the crime doesn’t actually occur.
    But right now, I’ve typed more words than the trailer and the videopost. So I should just take a break.

  • Starmachinist

    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but from what I understand raping Brandi is just one of MANY horrid, immoral things Seth’s character in the film does. (Can anyone confirm this here who has seen the movie?) From a critical/psuedo-literary standpoint, it sounds like the inclusion of such a scene is meant to reinforce the main characters terribleness, not glamorize or excuse his behavior in any way. Sure, it’s a comedy. But it’s a black comedy. It’s not exactly meant to be interpreted in the same way dudebro/fratboy humor is supposed to, though there is no doubt the movie has been marketed that way.
    From what I gather, the real problem here is not the inclusion of date rape in a “comical” way, but the misleading way the film has been advertised and the inevitable disconnect between it’s target audience and the sort of comedy a film like this offers. The real problem lies in how it’s presented, not so much in it’s inclusion in the film. The sad truth is, most dudes who go see this movie will think they’re supposed to be laughing at the cursing inebriated drunk girl getting fucked by a psycho loser, instead of nervously laughing at the mindblowing immorality of the situation. Does that make sense?
    Again, haven’t seen it.

  • JudoJohn

    The Playboy advisor had advice on just this situation:
    “When she’s passed out cold, Casanova, fuck your pillow.”

  • LTB

    Anna Faris told New York Magazine last week:”It’s like date rape — that’s funny, right?” Equally reprehensible hands down.

  • medea

    white man makes movie about how hilarious it is to see a white man abusing power (including date rape)… how depressingly normal.

  • Pantheon

    I think that quote was followed with some ummmms and an “or not,” but on the whole it seems like she didn’t think about it very hard.

  • Peter

    For whatever it’s worth, Manohla Dargis says that we cut to the grinding shot directly from the scene where Ronnie (“i accept you”) kisses Brandi’s vomit-tinged lips.
    Dargis criticizes the movie for its lack of moral critique; David Edelstein applauds it for never sugarcoating Ronnie’s dementia. I hope the latter review is closer to the mark. The film could be a great antidote to The Dark Knight.

  • californiapoppy

    wait, i feel disgusting after watching this trailer. Why did you post it? Why!
    Somehow that this is being packaged as “entertainment” makes it all the more gross.

  • dormouse

    Quick quiz:
    Is this scene…
    a) offensive
    b) funny
    c) both
    d) not enough information to tell
    Correct Answer: D
    We have no idea the context in which this brief clip happens. Relevant questions: How drunk is Rogan’s character? What happened when they started having sex? Was Faris’s character conscious then? Are there any consequences to this sex? Is Rogan’s character so bad at sex that Faris got bored and fell asleep? Is Rogan made to be a hero or a creep in this movie? etc, etc.
    Feministing, I love you most of the time, but there is a nasty trend here of jumping to conclusions about things based on incomplete information that don’t necessarily warrant such outrage.

  • clementine

    Well said. I’ve read a few reviews of the film and they all made it very clear that this was a black comedy. I think if anyone deserves a fuck-you it’s the studio for falsely promoting the film.

  • Lilith Luffles

    I’m sorry, I noticed that after I posted. My bad >.

  • AnatomyFightSong

    When a film (or book) has a protagonist who does horrible things, does that make the director, writer, producers, actors, etc., culpable for condonding that behavior if the character doesn’t get his comeuppance?
    If the answer is “it depends,” what are the mitigating factors?

  • Kathleen6674

    I’m bipolar, and I’m perfectly capable of understanding that rape is wrong.
    Thank you for perpetuating the stigma surrounding mental illness.

  • Jessica

    I thought that they may have started having sex, she passed out during it, he said, “Brandi?” as in “Are you still awake?” and then she said her line.
    That’s what I thought happened when I first saw the clip.