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November 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Brett Ratner

One day after the decision of Oscars co-producer Brett Ratner to resign
in the wake of bitter criticism of his anti-gay slur and other remarks that embarrassed the motion picture academy, Eddie Murphy has followed Ratner out the door. In a statement, Academy President Tom Sherak said, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.” In the same statement, Murphy commented, “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. 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.”



Reverberations of Brett Ratner’s resignation as co-producer of next year’s Oscar telecast were being felt throughout the industry on Wednesday. Ratner quit after howls of protest greeted his anti-gay slur during a Q&A following a screening of his latest movie Tower Heist and a graphic description of his sex life on Howard Stern’s radio show. The Los Angeles Times, in an article headlined “Will Ratner flap hurt his Hollywood Career,” indicated that his remarks could also cost him his job as director of the forthcoming DreamWorks movie, The 39 Clues. “It wouldn’t be the first time a prominent Hollywood figure has paid the price for ill-advised comments,” the Times observed, noting the effect on Mel Gibson’s career after he made racially charged remarks about Jews in 2006. Meanwhile, many Hollywood pundits were speculating that Eddie Murphy might quit as host of the Oscars in a show of support for Ratner, who was instrumental in casting him for the high-profile position in the first place. At, veteran industry reporter Mike Fleming speculated that Ratner himself would probably discourage Murphy from doing so. “Murphy’s exit would be a high-profile PR nightmare inside and outside Hollywood,” Fleming wrote, “creating the impression to the general public that the Oscars is in complete chaos.”