Brett Ratner resigns as producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards after gay slur controversy
Brett Ratner resigned as a producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards on Tuesday, November 8, according to a statement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com.
The actor has been the subject of controversy after he used a gay slur during a recent screening of his latest film "Tower Heist."
"He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself," Academy President Tom Sherak said in a statement. "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."
The director released his own statement on Tuesday to the industry regarding his decision to exit the role of producer for the ceremony, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"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," Ratner said in his statement, according to the industry paper. "As a first step, I called Tom Sherak this morning and resigned as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards telecast."
He added, "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 represent."
Ranter initially apologized on Monday, November 7, for using a gay slur at a question and answer session at a screening "Tower Heist" when he used a term to describe gay men in response to a question asked at a screening. The director has also talked about his sex life in an interview with Howard Stern earlier this week.
Initially, Sherak said Ratner's remarks were "inappropriate" but added that the Academy was not going to remove him from his Oscar-producing position.
"The bottom line is, this won't and can't happen again. It will not happen again," Sherak said. "The apology he gave I truly believe comes from his heart."
Herndon Graddick, the senior director of programs for the Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called for Ratner and the Academy to do more.
"The Academy and Hollywood need to send a clear message that such slurs, used even once, have no place in mainstream popular culture or at the helm of the industry that helps create it," Graddick told the Associated Press.
"Tower Heist" opened on November 4 and finished in second place at the weekend box office with $25.1 million. Eddie Murphy, the film's star, will host the 84th annual Academy Awards which will air on Sunday, February 26, 2012 on ABC, OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company. It will be Murphy's first time hosting the awards ceremony.