It began back in August when the surprising announcement was made that Rush Hour and X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner was being brought on board to produce the 84th annual Academy Awards ceremony with Don Mischer. Then came word that Ratner’s one and only choice to host the ceremony was Eddie Murphy, who ended up landing the job over any other names that might have been discussed.
Now, after a not-so-shining week of promoting his new movie, Tower Heist, Ratner has decided to step down as producer.
While doing Q&A for Tower Heist, Ratner stupidly used the word “fag” and also had rather graphic interviews on both Attack of the Show and The Howard Stern Show. Members of the Academy including, actors and filmmakers, were rightfully outraged by the gay slur, putting the Academy and president Tom Sherak in a tough spot before Ratner decided to resign from the position.
Sherak commented on the situation, saying:
He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself.
Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent.
Ratner also released a letter of apology, which can be read here.
At the moment it appears that Murphy will remain as the Oscar host, but the Academy will now be on the search for a replacement producer.