In the filmmaker's latest movie, a sequel to his hit 'Knocked Up', Albert Brooks' character says, "Line up! Line up for murder! Come on! Who wants to be killed?", while spraying his kids with a garden hose.
The children shout out "Murder me!", prompting the character to add, "All right. The kids are murdered. That will save us some money."
After 20 children were slain at Sandy Hook elementary school by suspected gunman Adam Lanza, Apatow was asked whether he would cut the line out of the movie - but the director insists the joke will stay.
He tells TheWrap.com, "I wrote this script two years ago. That line 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."
Several film premieres, including 'Django Unchained', 'Jack Reacher' and 'Parental Guidance', as well as episodes of 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad', have been scrapped following the tragedy, which claimed the lives of 20 school children and six staffmembers.