Brett Ratner Out As Oscar Producer in Wake of Gay Slur Scandal — Was It the Right Decision?

Wanted: Someone to produce next year’s Academy Awards.

Brett Ratner has resigned his post as producer of the 2012 Oscar telecast in the wake of an escalating scandal involving his use of a gay slur.

“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,” he said in an open letter to the Hollywood community. “To them, and to everyone I’ve hurt and offended, I’d like to apologize publicly and unreservedly.

“Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career,” he continued. “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.”

“He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself,” Academy president Tom Sherak said in a statement. “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.”

The scandal erupted over the weekend when Ratner said “Rehearsal is for fags” in response to a reporter’s question about whether he rehearses with his actors. The remark drew widespread criticism as well as an apology from Ratner. “I apologize for any offense my remarks caused,” Ratner said at the time. “It was a dumb and outdated way of expressing myself.”

His decision to step down is all the more surprising considering the fact that just yesterday Sherak — in an interview with our sister site Deadline.com — said Ratner would not lose his job over the controversy. “His remarks were inappropriate,” Sherak said. “He said it best in his apology, that his comments were dumb and insensitive. When you think of our community, it went against all the beliefs of the creative community we represent. He knew it was wrong and he issued that response as quickly as any human being ever has. The bottom line is, this won’t and can’t happen again. It will not happen again.”

Now for the $1 million question: Will Eddie Murphy — who was hand-picked by Ratner to serve as host — resign as well? Stay tuned…

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39 Comments
  1. xav says:

    Everything’s better with less Brett Ratner so whatever it takes to get him to disappear, I’m good with.

  2. Christine S. says:

    Yes, it was the right decision. The wrong decision was giving him the job in the first place.

    • maggie says:

      True. Quality movies and Brett Ratner don’t have anything to do with each other. Why did they pick him in the first place?

  3. Carrie says:

    Yes. He words- followed by his gross and misogynistic appearance on Stern only prove that he’s a vulgar idiot with little respect for others. Won’t miss him.

  4. Ryan says:

    Did Brett Ratner deserve to lose his job as Oscar producer over the gay slur? Probably.

    Did Brett Ratner deserve to lose his job as Oscar producer over his terrible movies? Definitely.

  5. KoleBigEars says:

    “…the Academy and the high ideals it represents.”

    Hahahahahha!!! It’s a freakin’ popularity contest run by boring snooty people. High ideals…what a joke…

  6. Cee says:

    I wouldn’t mind if he had his jaw wired shut for the next decade, or at least until he figures out how to mature beyond the level of a seventh grade brat.

    • Roger says:

      You don’t sound like a very nice person…….and you’re complaining about Brett. It sounds like he learned from the experience…….do you have any tolerance. You almost sound like a hypocrite.

  7. BatHobbit says:

    So he’s sorry for making a harmless joke yet he made X-men: the last stand and he’s never apologized for that. This dude needs to get his priorities in line.

    • Snapy says:

      It’s not a joke, it’s blatant homophobia. Hate speech should never be tolerated.

      • Mcat says:

        But hate speech is tolerated in the States because your own Constitution allows for it. Every American has the right to say whatever they want and not be punished for it, even if it makes others miserable (i.e. the Westboro Baptist Church). Which is why I’m glad to be Canadian – we have laws against hate speech here, which is why the WBC has never dared to step foot in this country.

        • KevyB says:

          You seem to be thinking the words “tolerated” and “legal” are synonyms. Hate speech should never be tolerated, but it should always remain legal. That said, this wasn’t hate speech. It was a stupid comment made by someone who isn’t very bright. Certain people in the gay community need to stop acting like such victims over such minor occurrences. You’re making us ALL look like p*ssies so stop making us weaker!

          • Michael says:

            Hate speech is hate speech. There are just degrees of hate. This might have been to a signficantly lesser degree, but that doesn’t change what it is. Holding our supposed allies to a higher standard is not a sign of weakness or whining. Americans, for some reason, have forgotten about accountability.

            I find it hilarious that you would use the term “p@ssies” to describe one as weak. HILARIOUS. It makes us wimps when we allow people like Brett to get away with using publicly very hateful/derogatory terms.

          • Snapy says:

            If you’re gay and you don’t think this is a big deal, then you’re suffering from a case of internalized homophobia. Sad!

      • Musica1 says:

        I don’t see where his joke was homophobic. It showed a lack of respect for gay people in general, but in other appearances, he’s shown a lack of respect for women, and his movies show anlack of respect for all humanity. Why is it that the gay slur (which is actually a compliment if you look at what he’s really saying) is what gets him the bad press?

        • Michael says:

          Actually, it wasn’t just the gay slur, but we’re choosing to focus just on that. Using the word f@g, in almost every context, is homophobic just as using the n-word in almost every context is slightly racist. Why is that so difficult to comprehend?

  8. Matt says:

    Eddie Murphy resign? What is this a guilt-by-association witch hunt? Or are you simply saying the next producer should be able to make his own choice?

    • susela says:

      I think it may be a matter of whether Murphy himself would choose to work with a different producer. No doubt some of the appeal of hosting the Oscars was working with Ratner, with whom he’s worked on several films. However, I’d be surprised (yet delighted!) if Murphy were to give up such a high-profile gig.

  9. Sneek says:

    Wrong decision – an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

    • tired of pc says:

      He said a stupid thing, but to lose a job over a stupid comment; something that he said off the cuff. This world is so PC that people can’t talk at all. I’d be far more concerned if he referred to someone in that manner or had not hired people because of their sexual orientation, but to lose a job, to have to put an open letter in some publication because people in the entertainment industry have hides made of marshmallow is just stupid.
      And the reverence for which not only he, but the Academy President and so many others place on these awards is also stupid…it’s Hollywood congratulating themselves…it’s just stupid. The money they spend on making the show and the money that a network pays the academy to air the show could go someplace else — how about instead of airing the show the take the money and use it to help out teens who are wrestling with their sexuality?! I dare you Hollywood to do this — put your money where your mouth is!

  10. Spencer says:

    He’s disgusting. Not just because of the gay slur (but that revolts me), but also because his face just looks douchey

  11. Edward says:

    I think the issue is a bit broader, no? It’s more than the gay slur. He said something stupid about a actress (that he had sex with her, which he later said he lied about). And he also said stupid crap on Howard Stern. I think those two things, along with the gay slur, were just too much.

  12. Snapy says:

    I’m glad! You shouldn’t be allowed to say a hurtful, vile word like “f@g” and not suffer the consequences.

  13. JAson says:

    This hack who hasn’t made a good movie yet is getting to big for his bridges. BEcause of the successful movie Rush Hour (which was not that great) he has a huge hollywood career. He almost ruined the X-Men franchise and did a very poor Hannibal Lecter movie. Yet he continues to work. Maybe this will finally ruin his career and hee won’t ruin any more franchises.

  14. BeachBum says:

    Eddie Murphy has a history of the same kind of homophobic and misogynistic remarks as Ratner (no wonder they’re buds)and hasn’t been funny or relavent in 20 years. Hopefully he will resign as well.

  15. EddieZ says:

    I get so tired of “famous” people saying something stupid (or racist, or homophobic), getting caught and then thinking that an apology in the morning will make us all forget.

    Hey, how about thinking before you speak. Hate speech, hate comments, or hate asides are never acceptable.

    • Fido says:

      fine, don’t forget, but why can’t you accept his apology and move on ? He made a mistake, he apologised, endof.

      • EddieZ says:

        Fido – I thought I already said that. Apologies come too easily and are too easily accepted. Too many people get away with things simply because they say they are sorry. In this day and age, it should not be happening. We all know it is not acceptable to use slurs of any kind. And by accepting his apology and moving on, we show our children that it really is ok to say these things as long as you say you are “sorry”.

  16. cerreno says:

    I agree with you whole heatedly! They should spend the millions and millions of money on helping people then patting them on the back. Its disgusting how much money they spend.

  17. Amber says:

    This is the first I’m hearing about any slurs the guy said, but I voted yes for him to get fired just based on what a crapfest the oscars were last February.

  18. John Berggren says:

    I’ve hated Brett Ratner since he sold out the values of the X-men to accept themselves as they are. His recent comments only shed new light on why. Good riddance.

  19. jay says:

    The Oscars are a joke. They should cancel the whole thing.

  20. Paul says:

    I’m glad he is not going to be a part of the Oscars. Respect for people is essential & not being respectful of the LGBT community is not ok, words do matter.

  21. Queerbec says:

    I’m amazed about the number of people on this site who think the “slur” was nothing. It is as offensive to one group of people as much as the “n” word is to another. Even more disgusting is the cavalier way in which he incorporated the word into his conversation, almost like he uses that term all the time, instead of saying things like “amateurs,” which he could have used in that same sentence or even “actors I have no respect for.” He’s been to enough Hollywood benefits to know how insensitive that remark is plus he knew he was talking to a reporter. Nothing is secret, everything is on the record. Plus, I worry whether Mr. Murphy–who has not always demonstrated understanding and support for the gay community in the past–will try to make some humorous, but offensive, hay out of the situation during the Oscars.

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