I caught this story about Katherine Heigl complaining about her role in Knocked Up in the latest issue of Vanity Fair earlier in the week and it’s really been bugging me.

Entertainment Weekly would have you believe that Heigl should be commended for speaking her mind and ignoring “publicist-scripted hooey” in her interview with the magazine. But there is a difference between being honest and being disrespectful.

Not being a woman, I can’t speak with any authority as to Heigl’s claim that Knocked Up is sexist. But as a man, I think there is enough to take umbrage in the depiction of my gender as slothful, stoned, ambitionless tubs of lard. In fact, I would be willing to wager that Knocked Up is more sexist in it’s stereotypes against men than it is against women. It would be one thing if the movie had Heigl’s character walking around barefoot and cooking Seth Rogen’s character dinner in every third scene. But that’s not the case. I think they treat her character with great respect. She’s a responsible professional. She has strong family bonds. And she has dimension of character! She’s responsible, but has a one night stand. She drives her niece’s to school but she gets hormonal like a normal pregnant woman would. If you want sexist, look at the punchline of today’s comic. Now THAT’S sexist!

Things get more disgusting when you start to follow the money. Apparently after the success of Knocked Up and her Emmy win for Grey’s Anatomy, her asking price for the upcoming 27 Dresses with James Marsden went up from $300,000 to $6 million.

The simple fact of the matter is if you didn’t watch Grey’s Anatomy, you didn’t know who Katherine Heigl was. Knocked Up put her on the map. Maybe she didn’t like her character or the movie. Fine. But be a little bit magnanimous about where it got you. Because now you look ungrateful.

I think Heigl’s comments against Knocked Up are going to go down in history as one of the most sublime Hollywood foot-in-mouth moments. Considering how well writer/director Judd Apatow treats his stable of actors, there’s no telling where that relationship could have taken her. What’s the incentive to work with her ever again after this?

Apparently Apatow took the high road when questioned about Heigl’s comments at the recent GQ Men of the Year party in Hollywood this week:

“I don’t think the movie’s sexist, I think there are characters in the movie who are sexist,” clarified writer/director Judd Apatow, who hasn’t spoken with Heigl about her comments. “Apparently Vanity Fair needs to sell some magazines. They’ve got to turn up the controversy. I’m sure when they get you talking for hours and hours, a couple lines taken out of context seem more interesting than they really are.”

That’s a fairly diplomatic response. But Rogen’s response to the same line of questioning is a little more revealing:

“We won A Women’s Image Network Award; I picked it up myself,” he reminded, adding, “I don’t really talk to Katie.”

Does that mean she’s off his Christmas list? “Yeah, exactly. Oh yeah, like she was on it before.”

Rogen has a pretty sarcastic sense of humor, but that still comes off kind of harsh. You get the sense from his comments that they’ve already left her behind.

I look at this mess and the whole time I’m reminded of the reportedly contentious relationship between Kevin Smith and Linda Fiorentino on the set of Dogma. Listen to the Dogma DVD commentary track to get the scoop straight from Smith. Or read this news item from 2000 at TVGuide.com. My point is, has anyone heard from Linda Fiorentino since Dogma?

Her page over at IMDB.com lists four credits since Dogma, all in 2000 and then nothing. Maybe it’s a coincidence. But for someone who starred in Men In Black and Dogma at the end of the 90’s, she seemed poised to make it big in the next few years. Then… nothing.

Apatow probably pulls more clout than Smith did during his Dogma days. But all Smith had to do was be vocal about how difficult Fiorentino was on-set before she stopped turning up in movies. Apatow doesn’t have to say word-one. Heigl is doing it for him. Still, if she’s burning bridges with someone comparable to Smith, could Katherine Heigl be the next Linda Fiorentino? Time will tell, I suppose.

I guess, for me, what’s most disappointing about Heigl’s comments is that it subtracts from a movie I really enjoyed this year. I liked Knocked Up… a lot. I bought the Special Unrated Edition on DVD so I could get MORE Knocked Up content. Now if I watch that movie, I’m going to be looking at Heigl, thinking about her comments and stewing about how ungrateful she is.

Think of it another way. Have you ever been to a concert where maybe the band is just starting to break through? They’ve got some big hit single and they’re tired of playing it? They kind of mope through the song because they feel obligated to, but you can tell their heart’s not into it? They make you feel like an idiot for liking their song! That’s what I feel like after reading Heigl’s comments.

Granted, there is a lot of stuff going on in Knocked Up that I like that has nothing to do with Heigl’s character. I’m sure I can enjoy those parts. But her involvement is pretty much central to the motivations of the character. So I’ll always be aware of her on the periphery, sulking, bitching about sexism (yet comfortable selling out her principles for a hit movie) and it’s just going to taint the entire experience.

Incidentally, if you wanted to look at her Maxim photo shoot where you can see more of her “principles” on display, you can find it here.

That concludes my rant. Have a great weekend, everyone!

↓ Transcript
Have you read the latest issue of Vanity Fair?

No. I’m more of a Harper’s Bazaar reader

Katherine Heigl gave an interview and calls Knocked Up sexist!

“It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as loveable, goofy, fun-loving guys.

Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”

Ugh! This from the woman who did a topless photo shoot for Maxim!

They put an Emmy in your back pocket and all of a sudden it’s okay to start busting chops!

Speaking of busts, that photo shoot she did for Maxim was hot!

That’s right! I had forgotten she had fabulous breasts!