Brett Ratner Is Out as Oscars Producer

Well, this is pleasing, I’m not going to lie. Brett Ratner—the egomaniacal movie director who is a walking, breathing parody of how the world generally perceives Hollywood people to look and behave—will not be producing this year’s Oscars. What that means for the fate of Eddie Murphy as host, who, let’s be honest, was looking more and more like an an unmitigated disaster-to-be, is up in the air. Let’s hope he’s part of the exit package.

The reason, believe it or not, isn’t that everybody suddenly snapped to their senses and realized that Ratner is an insufferable hack who's been readying an Oscars telecast of roughly the same sophistication level as your average Pirelli calendar shoot. Rather, Ratner himself resigned in the wake of a growing uproar over a comment he made to an L.A. audience who’d come to hear a Q&A; about his new movie, Tower Heist. When asked what his rehearsal process is like, Ratner responded, “Rehearsing is for fags.”


Ratner is apparently so proud of his complete lack of work ethic or artistry that he reached deeply into his bag of insults to find just the demeaning slur to affix to those who actually care. Ah! There it is! “Fag.” A gay person. Yes. Rehearsing is for gay people.

Ratner had already made several other nauseating stops on his media tour. On Attack of the Show, he blithely recounted how he’d “banged” Olivia Munn several times, then promptly forgot who she was at an audition. (Chicks love this guy!) Then he showed up on Howard Stern’s couch and carried on about the size of his genitals, his sperm count, and “banging” Lindsay Lohan. Ratner is a despicable man who lives in a fantasyland bubble where everyone tells him how charming and wonderful and irresistible he is and how effortlessly talented he is. No one seems to like him, yet people throw money at him to make crappy movies. He’s the perfect embodiment of the profound mediocrity and idea-vacuum that the motion picture industry has become.

But all that would have probably slid by; it’s the “fag” thing that was just three tiny letters too far. The Oscars are the Gay Super Bowl. You cannot throw around the term “fag” in your casual conversation. That will not do. And so Ratner is out. He says he came to this decision himself, but I get the distinct feeling his decision to come to this decision was actually a mutual decision. Follow that?

Here’s his letter of resignation:

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.

Brett Ratner

Good riddance.

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