It’s back to the drawing board for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Less than 24 hours after Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the 2012 Oscar telecast, Eddie Murphy has dropped out as host.
“I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” said Academy president Tom Sherak in a statement.
Added Murphy: “First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”
Brett Ratner resigned as producer of next year’s Academy Awards, one day after apologising for using a gay slur at a screening of his latest film.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed Ratner’s departure. President Tom Sherak said in a statement that the 42-year-old filmmaker “did the right thing for the academy and for himself”.
“Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable,” Sherak said.
Ratner has been under fire for a series of ill-judged remarks over the past few days, including his use of the phrase “rehearsal is for fags” during a question-and-answer session at a screening of his film Tower Heist.
He also discussed his sexual exploits on a recent episode of The Howard Stern Show.
Ratner issued a lengthy statement on Tuesday apologising for his behaviour and explaining his resignation as producer of the 2012 Oscars telecast. The academy had announced in August that Ratner would produce the show with TV veteran Don Mischer, who helmed the 2011 broadcast.
In a letter beginning, “Dear Colleagues,” Ratner apologised for “the hurtful and stupid things I said in a number of recent media appearances.”
“As difficult as the last few days have been for me, they cannot compare to the experience of any young man or woman who has been the target of offensive slurs or derogatory comments,” he said.
Ratner went on to say that he is “taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve so foolishly perpetrated.”
The director, whose credits also include the Rush Hour films, said that being asked to produce the Oscars show “was the proudest moment of my career”, but he didn’t want to distract from the Academy “and the high ideals it represents”.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which earlier condemned Ratner’s Q&A remarks, issued a press release regarding his Oscar departure, to say that representatives have met with Ratner about holding public discussions with industry leaders about “promoting fair and accurate inclusions of LGBT people and stories.”
His full statement, made through The Hollywood Reporter read as follows:
Over the last few days, I’ve gotten a well-deserved earful from many of the people I admire most in this industry expressing their outrage and disappointment over the hurtful and stupid things I said in a number of recent media appearances. To them, and to everyone I’ve hurt and offended, I’d like to apologize publicly and unreservedly.
As difficult as the last few days have been for me, they cannot compare to the experience of any young man or woman who has been the target of offensive slurs or derogatory comments. And they pale in comparison to what any gay, lesbian, or transgender individual must deal with as they confront the many inequalities that continue to plague our world.
So many artists and craftspeople in our business are members of the LGBT community, and it pains me deeply that I may have hurt them. I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter. Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted. With this in mind, and to all those who understandably feel that apologies are not enough, please know that I will be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve so foolishly perpetuated.
As a first step, I called Tom Sherak this morning and resigned as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards telecast. Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career. But as painful as this may be for me, it would be worse if my association with the show were to be a distraction from the Academy and the high ideals it represents.
I am grateful to GLAAD for engaging me in a dialogue about what we can do together to increase awareness of the important and troubling issues this episode has raised and I look forward to working with them. I am incredibly lucky to have a career in this business that I love with all of my heart and to be able to work alongside so many of my heroes. I deeply regret my actions and I am determined to learn from this experience.
Sincerely, Brett Ratner
Who do you think should host? I say bring back Ellen!
Source – Brisbane Times, TV line