• Did Tower Heist director Brett Ratner do the right thing by quitting the Oscars?

    Director of the new comedy flick Tower Heist, starring iconic comedian Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller, Brett Ratner was super excited about getting the gig to produce the upcoming Academy Awards. He kind of came as a package deal, as Murphy is set to host. But, now Ratner has resigned from his post. You probably know why. First he announced that he banged Olivia Munn three times back in the day. Then he told Howard Stern he was only kidding. And then he said “rehearsal is for fags” at a screening for Tower Heist. Classy fellow, that Ratner! So, even though the Academy apparently didn’t force him from his producing post, the man decided to take himself out of the game.

    “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,” he said, in part, in a statement yesterday. You can read the full bullshit statement below.

    So, did Ratner do the right thing by stepping down? Are you worried that Murphy will be pulled from his hosting duties, since it was Ratner who got Murphy the gig?

    —————–

    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

    Dylan P. Gadino

    Dylan is the founder and editor emeritus of Laughspin.

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