Director Judd Apatow wrote the script for the comedy "This Is 40" two years ago, but a joke about child murder proves to be terribly timed in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Friday.
Despite the recent tragedy, however, the joke will remain in the film.
The joke plays out between Albert Brooks' character and his triplets, according to TMZ. The father is broke and looking for ways to try and save money, so he says, "Line up! Line up for murder! Come on! Who wants to be killed?" After each child offers to be "murdered" with the squirt of a hose, the father says, "All right, the kids are murdered. That will save us some money."
Apatow tells TMZ that the scene "is spoken by a sarcastic father kidding with his children. In light of recent events, I understand if some people might make an unfortunate association or put it in a context in which it was not intended." However, the joke will remain in the film, which hit theaters nationwide on Friday.
TMZ's Harvey Levin thinks the joke should stay.
Others disagreed. "Sanitizing is different than time, space, and sensitivity," responded one Twitter user. "Even before last friday's tragedy, it was in poor taste. There use to be a time when children and animal murders were off limits," tweeted another.
Apatow is not the only one whose creative license has been questioned in the wake of the Newtown shootings.
Ke$ha's song "Die Young" was pulled from radio playlists across the nation because of its connotation. "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People, which includes lyrics about children and guns, was also taken out of rotation. The premiere of "Django Unchained," Quentin Tarantino's violent spaghetti Western, was canceled and multiple shows involving guns were booted from the air. Re-cutting a movie in a week, however, is far less feasible than simply not playing a song or canceling an event.