In Defense Of Seth Rogen

A reader recently wrote in to call Seth Rogen out for his remarks to Vanessa Grigoriadis in August's Elle — especially his allegation that the filming of Knocked Up was totally "open and communicative and input-driven" and that Katherine Heigl should've said something if she disapproved of the film. Marie Claire is cracking the Rogen backlash too, deriding "doughy Seth Rogen" in an article titled, "Huggable, Yes. But Hot? Not So Much." Our reader has a point — Rogen certainly wouldn't be the first man to mistake an environment where he's comfortable for one where everyone's comfortable, and it's quite possible that Heigl's input wouldn't have been as welcome as his. But Rogen comes off pretty well in the rest of the Elle interview, and I think he deserves a little defending. Here's why:

Asked about the attractiveness gap between men and women in Apatow movies, Rogen responds, "I love that. Like, there's so little chance that a girl would like me, it's sexist to assume that one would."

He takes it personally — and good for him. Is the idea that male attractiveness goes beyond traditional good looks really something we want to stamp out? In Marie Claire, Lucy Kaylin writes:

When funny women carry a comedy, it's expected that they'll be shaggable too — see Tina Fey's gleaming gams and cleavage in Baby Mama. Look, we know we've always said that a sense of humor is the most important thing. But a few crunches wouldn't hurt either.

But Kaylin's going the wrong way here. Rather than demanding that funny, weird-looking guys become more conventionally handsome, can't we acknowledge that attractiveness in both sexes can be a fungible thing? Men like weird-looking women sometimes too, and if we saw this play out more often on screen, maybe we'd be more accepting of our own quirks. I know I'm sick of ladymags telling me how to look better all the time, and rather than holding men up the same exacting standards, I'd like to quit worrying about camouflaging my flaws.

Now, if only Ms. Grigoriadis had addressed the responsibility gap between the sexes in Apatow movies. I'd like to see what Rogen would say to that one.

Elle