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HomeAwardsEddie Murphy Withdraws as Oscar Host

Eddie Murphy Withdraws as Oscar Host

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Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy has withdrawn as host of the 84th Academy Awards, following the resignation of producer Brett Ratner yesterday. Ratner was responsible for bringing Murphy on board as host.

Ratner tendered his resignation after an uproar over an anti-gay slur he made on Friday, and other comments he made on Howard Stern‘s Sirius XM Radio show.

“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,” said Murphy. “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.”

“I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” said Tom Sherak, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president.

On Friday, Ratner participated in a panel discussion about his new film Tower Heist in New York. When he was asked about how he rehearses with actors, his response was that “rehearsing is for fags.”

Commenting on Ratner’s resignation, Sherak said, “He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself. 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.”

Ratner released an apology yesterday in the form of an open letter to the industry, reprinted below.

Brett Ratner
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

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