Brett Ratner Resigns as Oscar Producer After Gay Slur
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From Ratner's just-released statement:
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.
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.
Of course, it's not a crime to say or believe offensive things, and I'm happy to defend Ratner's right to be as much of a flaming [jerk] as he wants to be and continue making his moronic but highly successful movies. ... [But] Ratner is also the guy the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences picked to reboot the Oscar telecast this year, after last winter's James Franco debacle. That's a prestige position, one that thrusts him into the public eye as a spokesman for the American movie industry. If Ratner was ever the right guy for that gig (which I doubt), he's now blown his chance and does not deserve another.
Clearly the Academy agreed with O'Hehir. "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." In other words, Please forget all about this awful homophobic business, and let's just enjoy the Oscars, OK?