The Real Story Behind The Knocked Up Sexism Controversy, According To Katherine Heigl

There’s no way you woke up today thinking you’d get partial resolution to that long-simmering Katherine Heigl-Judd Apatow-Seth Rogen feud. (Heck, it’s 4/20, so a Rogen story makes sense. Just… not this one.) Yet, the Knocked Up starlet recently appeared on The Howard Stern Show, and gave the best explanation yet why she threw shade at the massive comedy of which she was a huge part.

Let’s refresh your memory on this 2007 scandal. Katherine Heigl, at the time, was asked about the humor in Knocked Up being sexist, and her comments (again, at the time) made it sound like she was against Judd Apatow’s movie, and the humor she contributed to. (This old CinemaBlend story sums it up nicely.) Vanity Fair asked her for her opinion, and she gave it -- even if she essentially threw her director, and male co-star, under the bus in the process. But Heigl now tells Stern that she was really talking about her OWN approach to the character, and not to Apatow or Rogen. She said:

I felt obligated to answer [Vanity Fair’s question], and so I tried, in my very sort of ungracious way, to answer why I felt that it maybe was a little [sexist]. If you read the whole quote, I’m just saying that can be the nature of broad comedy. They’re exaggerating stereotypes, that’s what makes it funny. But they just took the sexist thing out.

The thing is, Katherine Heigl seems genuinely sorry about the way that her quotes were… manipulated? That’s too strong of a word, as she even tells Howard Stern that she doesn’t blame the reporter. But she has been dealing with this fallout of these comments ever since Knocked Up opened, and went on to become a huge hit. It really did look like Heigl, at the time, was seriously biting the hand that fed her an R-rated, Al-list home run of a comedy. She’s trying to make amends. Is she doing enough?

You have to listen to the whole quote, in context. Heigl goes on to tell Stern about an uncomfortable moment where she ran into Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg later, in a restaurant, and the old wounds definitely hadn’t healed. They basically blew her off, and she claims she understands why. Here’s Katherine Heigl on Howard Stern:

What do you think? Is Katherine Heigl really sorry for the way she was portrayed so many years ago? Or does she hate what her career has become, and is now hoping to get a voice part in Sausage Party 2? Weigh in below.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.