“Tower Heist” director Brett Ratner was supposed to have the much coveted job of producing the 84th Academy Awards this year. He even brought the star of “Tower Heist,” Eddie Murphy, to be the host of the show. He was supposed to, anyway.
But one comment during a Q&A session following the screening of the film has cost him his job. Asked what it was like rehearsing for the film, Ratner said “rehearsing is for fags.” (You can watch the video here, starting at 2:40). The comment got some laughs and was reported by New York magazine on Monday. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) condemned him on Twitter.
Ratner apologized immediately, but as if often the case with these things, it was too little, too late. In a statement posted yesterday on The Hollywood Reporter, Ratner said he had backed out of the production as a first step towards making amends: “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.”
On Wednesday, Murphy decided to step down as well. “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,” Murphy said in a statement sent out by the academy. “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.”
With about 3.5 months to go, there is no host to the 84th Academy Awards. I hope they don’t bring back James Franco.