Hollywood director Brett Ratner resigned yesterday as producer of the Academy Awards telecast. Ratner has recently come under fire for using an anti-gay slur, and has left the motion picture academy scrambling to assemble a new team to lead the awards show this coming February.
Ratner was an unconventional choice for the job and was touted as someone who could shake up the program and bring more viewers and buzz to the show.
It is now unclear if Ratner’s handpicked host for the Oscars, Eddie Murphy, will also step down. Murphy had been recruited for the job by Ratner, who directed him in the movie Tower Heist.
Ratner, 42, used a gay slur during a question-and-answer session following a screening of Tower Heist at Hollywood’s Arclight Cinema on Friday, and again on Howard Stern’s program, where Ratner said “rehearsal is for f*gs.”
In his apology, Ratner said that it was “a dumb way of expressing myself.”
“He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself,” Academy President Tom Sherak said in a statement, regarding Ratner’s resignation. “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.”
It is still undermined who will step in to replace Ratner, but fans of Murphy remain hopeful the comedian will retain his hosting duties. Murphy’s rep has declined to comment.