You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Judd Apatow on Donald Trump: ‘I Think It’s Going to Get Worse and Worse’

Hollywood comedy heavyweight Judd Apatow did not mince words Wednesday at an industry gathering when asked about President Donald Trump and whether there’s a silver lining to his presidency.

“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.

Popular on Variety

More Film


    Berlin-based Pluto Films Snags Sales Rights to Joshua Gil’s ‘Sanctorum’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico — Berlin-based Pluto Film Distribution has picked up the international sales rights, with the exception of Mexico, to Joshua Gil’s ‘Sanctorum,” which competes at the 17th Morelia Int’l Film Festival (FICM). Founded by Torsten Frehse, the fledgling world sales and festival distribution company has an eye for arthouse and crossover films as well as features from emerging [...]

  • Crowds Of German Refugees Pictured On

    'Last Days in Vietnam's' Rory Kennedy to Direct AR Content’s Refugee Documentary (EXCLUSIVE)

    Alexander Rodnyansky’s AR Content – in partnership with Kevin Macdonald, an Oscar winner with “One Day in September,” and Rosanne Korenberg – has tapped Academy Award nominated and Emmy winning director Rory Kennedy, best known for “Last Days in Vietnam,” to direct its untitled documentary centering on a little-known refugee crisis immediately preceding World War [...]

  • Global Screen Nabs ‘Amazing Maurice,’ Based

    Global Screen Picks Up ‘The Amazing Maurice,’ Based on Terry Pratchett’s Novel (EXCLUSIVE)

    Global Screen has picked up worldwide distribution rights, excluding North America, the U.K. and German-speaking territories, to the English-language animated feature “The Amazing Maurice,” based on a Terry Pratchett novel. The screenplay has been written by Terry Rossio, Oscar-nominated for “Shrek.” Rossio’s credits also include the animated movie “Aladdin” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” [...]

  • Yoji Yamada-directed film is to open

    Tokyo Market: Shochiku Launches Horror, Comedy and Mystery Lineup

    Major Japanese studio, Shochiku has the honor of leading off next week’s Tokyo International Film Festival with its “Tora-san, Wish You Were Here.” The film is a revival of a beloved in-house drama franchise, directed by veteran Yoji Yamada, that is set as the event’s opening night gala presentation. Before that, the company has the [...]

  • The Truth

    Singapore Festival to Focus on Asian Excellence for 30th Edition

    For its 30th edition the Singapore International Film Festival has avoided programming novelty and instead focused on assembling excellence – mostly indie titles — from Asia and further afield. The festival, which previously announced local filmmaker Anthony Chen’s second feature “Wet Season” as its opening night gala presentation, announced the balance of its programming on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content