Brett Ratner Bows Out of the Oscars

Well, that was quick. In the span of just one weekend, director Brett Ratner has somehow managed to unleash a P.R. nightmare of epic proportions, instantly turning most of the internet and Hollywood against him. (Well, okay that’s not true… the internet was already against him.) After some questionable comments about his personal life on G4’s Attack of the Show and The Howard Stern Show, the thing that really set people off was a homophobic remark made during a Q&A at the AFI Film Festival last Friday. When asked if he often rehearses scenes with his cast before committing them to film, he responded, “Rehearsal’s for fags.” He issued a public apology on the following Monday, but that didn’t stop people from calling for his immediate dismissal as a producer of next year’s Academy Award ceremony. Academy president Tom Sherak said that he would not be fired, but apparently the pressure was too much: The Rat has decided to step down himself. He has released the following statement:

Dear Colleagues,

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

So there you have it. There has been no word on a replacement as of yet, but all eyes are now on Eddie Murphy as we wait to see whether or not he will remain on board as this year’s host (Ratner was the one who originally recruited him). What do you think, did Ratner make the right decision here or did the situation simply get blown way out of proportion?

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  • Keep Eddie Murphy and get Walter Hill to produce. Now thats an Oscars I want to see.

  • TJ

    According to my friend who worked with Ratner as a post PA on one of his project, Ratner is constantly scratching his balls. Like, full on hands down the pants scratching. So if you ever meet Brett Ratner in person, don’t shake his hand, I guess.

  • he was probably high the whole time. the behind the scenes on “After the Sunset” are classic showing him in a cocaine induced mania, not being able to sleep, WOODY HARRELSON?! mixing weird concoctions for him! they play it off as some stupid cold but its obvious what it really is

  • Kasper

    OH NO HE SAID FAG – HOW WILL THE WORLD GO ON?!?!?!

  • rjdelight

    I can’t believe how fast this escalated.

  • Sly

    no producers – no host

    they should just put the text on the screen of who won what

    shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes

  • Steve Kasan

    @Gord that is a fantastic idea! While they’re at it, bring up Nick Nolte as a special guest and just let Eddie go full out like he did in the Country Bar scene.

    Now, the one thing you have to look at in Ratner’s statement is about Rehearsels. Rehearsels are important! Im sure everyone has seen Social Network’s making of, see how much time they prepped with rehearsels?

    Perhaps, thats a reason why his films get panned?

  • antho42

    There is a God.

  • Anthony

    I’m not condoning what Ratner said, but I’d feel very safe in betting that a lot of the people who asked/are asking for Ratner’s head throw “Fag” and “Faggot” around in every day conversation like it’s nothing.

  • patrik

    Bowing out is for fags.