UPDATE: Murphy Exits Oscars After Ratner's Resignation
UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Pictures and Art Sciences has just released an announcement confirming Eddie Murphy’s exit as host of the 84th Academy Awards. The release included the following statement from Murphy:
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.
The search for a new host is expected to start soon as the ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 and be televised on ABC.
Brett Ratner has resigned as the producer for the upcoming Academy Awards telecast after issuing a written apology for using an offensive slur to describe homosexuality, Entertainment Weekly reports. Ratner has been under fire from the LGBT community after comments made during a q-and-a session after the screening of his latest film Tower Heist.
Though Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak expressed support for the producer, the demand for Ratner to be removed from association with the telecast grew too large.
After Ratner submitted his resignation to the Academy, Sherak released a statement, “He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself.” The statement further went on to say, “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.”
People has raised the question whether or not Eddie Murphy, who starred in Tower Heist and was recruited by Ratner to host, will step down as well. However, the actor has yet to make a statement regarding the subject.
You can read Ratner’s statement below:
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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