The rightwing commentator suggested the violence in The Hunger Games, which Rodger's father worked on, could have inspired the killing spree
The rightwing US commentator Rush Limbaugh has said on his radio show that Elliot Rodger's killing spree, which left six people dead in southern California, could have been in part inspired by the film The Hunger Games.
Rodger's father was an second unit director on the film, in which a totalitarian state organises a televised fight to the death between various citizens in order to maintain control. "Have you seen any of the Hunger Game movies?" said Limbaugh. "Do you know what they're about? … This is crucial! This is what this guy's dad did. It's teenagers killing other teenagers. It's a survivalist game … They're being forced to, but they're still doing it … This kid might say he was forced to [kill] by societal pressure."
He's not the first to suggest that Hollywood had a hand to play in influencing Rodger. The Washington Post's film critic Ann Hornaday suggested that "frat-boy fantasies" like Bad Neighbours caused frustration to those, like Rodger, whose lives didn't match up, and that a culture of "violence, sexual conquest and macho swagger" on screen could have catalysed Rodger's acts. Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow, who the article alluded to, reacted angrily on Twitter, prompting a rebuttal from Hornaday.
Limbaugh also suggested that social media was partly to blame. "Half the people or more on these social media sites exaggerate a bit about all the fun they're having... It's going to create inferiority complexes. It's gonna create, in some people's minds, misery and unhappiness. They read about all the fun their friends are having. They read about all the fun people their age are having, and they look at their own lives and they're dull and boring by comparison. When, in fact, they're reading a bunch of people talking about things that really aren't happening. Everybody's simply fantasising, or a lot of people are. So I don't know if that's the case here, but I'll bet you it's a part of it."
In the segment, headlined 'The Left Takes Another Human Tragedy and Converts It Into a Political Issue', he also argued that calls for gun control in the wake of the killings were unnecessary: "There is no gun control law being currently proposed that would have stopped this shooting spree."