“I think we’ve revealed how horrible people can be,” Apatow, who has consistently criticized Trump, said at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Beverly Hills. “And I think through social media, we’ve energized the worst of a lot of people’s instincts. So I think it’s more of a Pandora’s Box that’s going to get worse and worse.”
The comments were delivered during a panel titled “The 1990s: America’s Groundhog Decade” with Apatow and Dee Dee Myers, executive vice president at Warner Bros. and the White House press secretary during President Bill Clinton’s administration. The panel was moderated by Vanity Fair’s David Friend, editor of creative development.
Apatow has directed “Trainwreck,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” and “Knocked Up”; produced “The Big Sick,” “Bridesmaids,” and “Superbad”; and developed the TV series “Freaks and Geeks,” “Undeclared,” and “Girls.” His comments about Trump emerged in response to a question from Friend about his use of flawed characters as protagonists.
“For storytelling, you always want to start with somebody with a problem and try to see if they can learn something from it, so you want your characters to be flawed and the more flawed the better,” he responded. “I think the issue with Trump is that he’s descending deeper and deeper into a pit of craziness that is not showing that he’s learning as a president how to behave. It’s not like he went to Texas and Florida and visited people in the disaster areas and then went to Puerto Rico and behaved like a normal human being.”
Apatow said Trump’s recent visit to Puerto Rico was troubling, noting that he pointed out how much the damage would cost and then began tossing out rolls of paper towels to attendees.
“Why is his first thought, ‘I’m going to toss these to people around like a T-shirt gun at a football game’? What is going on his head? He’s like a guy that’s working at a casino,” he said. “He’s not learning anything.”
Such behavior, Apatow noted, engenders fear among many that Trump will provoke North Korea’s Kim Jong-un into a nuclear war. “We all go, ‘Maybe he’ll talk to North Korea like that,'” he added.