Brett Ratner resigns as Oscar telecast producer

Nov 08, 2011 by Ian Evans

Tower Heist director Brett Ratner submitted his resignation as producer of the 84th Academy Awards today following a media firestorm that began with a gay slur and ended with a raunchy interview with Howard Stern.

Last Friday, Ratner said in a Q&A session for his new film that “rehearsing is for fags.” He apologized and the Academy condemned the slur but accepted the apololgy. On Monday, Ratner had a raunchy interview with Howard Stern — is there any other kind? — where he laid out details of his sex life.

When the producer of the Oscars begins to be the story and not the ceremony itself, insiders began to murmur that it was hurting the show’s brand.

In a statement, AMPAS President Tom 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 open letter explaining his decision.

“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.”

Ratner continued, “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.”

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre. Stick with for your 84th Academy Awards coverage.