Brett Ratner Resigns as Oscars Producer

Nov 9, 2011, 11:02 by R.E. Christian

Controversial filmmaker Brett Ratner has stepped down as producer of Hollywood's 84th annual Academy Awards show, organizers announced Tuesday.

The "Rush Hour" director quit after creating a media firestorm for using a homophobic slur while making a joke during a recent public question and answer session following a screening of his latest flick "Tower Heist." At one point during the discussion, Ratner said "rehearsal is for fags."

Although he later apologized for the remark, his critics called for him to be dismissed as producer of the Oscars telecast because of it.

In a letter to the academy Tuesday announcing his resignation as Oscars telecast producer, Ratner called his comments "hurtful and stupid" and apologized "publicly and profusely."

"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," he said. "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."

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak said Ratner "did the right thing for the Academy and for himself" by resigning.

"Words have meaning, and they have consequences," Sherak said in a statement. "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 said he would "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."

There was no word Tuesday on whether Eddie Murphy -- Ratner's choice to emcee the telecast -- would remain with the show, the Los Angeles Times reported. Murphy is one of the stars of "Tower Heist."

Source: UPI