Brett Ratner Mends More Fences, Helps The Academy With $1 Million Gift

Mark Deming
Movie Talk
Brett Ratner
Brett Ratner

Filmmaker Brett Ratner and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have clearly kissed and made up, with a thoughtful gift as part of the process.

AMPAS, the organization that hosts the Academy Awards among other things, is staging a fund-raising campaign to build a new museum devoted to the history of the movies, and Ratner has shown his support with a generous donation of $1 million.

Things weren't always so cozy between Ratner and AMPAS. Ratner, whose credits include "Rush Hour," "Red Dragon," and "X-Men: The Last Stand," was scheduled to produce the 2012 Academy Award broadcast, with his friend Eddie Murphy as host. However, several months before the show, Ratner started a firestorm of controversy when, during a public interview following a screening of his film "Tower Heist," he quipped that "rehearsing is for fags." Several LGBT activist groups called for Ratner to resign from the Oscar telecast, and Ratner and Murphy did just that.

But Ratner clearly has love for the Academy. "I feel blessed to be part of such a magnificent museum," Ratner said in a public statement. "I was blown away by the recent Kubrick exhibit at LACMA, which the Academy co-sponsored. I couldn’t be more excited that our Academy will finally have its own museum that will preserve and exhibit cinema's greatest work."

And Bill Kramer, managing director of development for the AMPAS museum, had kind words for Ratner as well. "Brett has a sincere love of movies and film history, and we are excited to welcome him to our group of supporters,” Kramer said.

As for Ratner's relations with the LGBT community, he helped smooth ruffled feathers by directing a series of public service announcements for the prominent gay rights group GLAAD, and received the Ally Award at the 2013 GLAAD Media Awards last March.