AWARDS

Brett Ratner Resigns as Oscars Producer After Sparking Controversy

by
November 8, 2011

Brett Ratner

After the official announcement that Eddie Murphy would be hosting the 84th annual Academy Awards next year with filmmaker Brett Ratner producing the live telecast, recent events have transpired that have resulted in the loss of one of those talents. While Murphy is usually the one to offend with films like Norbit and Daddy Day Care, this time it's Ratner who has offended with inappropriate remarks that have essentially forced him to resign as producer of the Academy Awards ceremony. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the announcement today, and Ratner also released an official statement.

For those who haven't kept up on the situation that's made news lately, this week Ratner was already under fire for claiming to have "banged" actress and former "Attack of the Show" host Olivia Munn (before forgetting who she even was afterwards), only to put his foot in his mouth later. But what really put Ratner in deep water this week is answering a question about his directorial style during a Q&A in promotion of Tower Heist and including the statement that, "Rehearsal is for fags." As you can imagine the gay and lesbian community was not too pleased with his remarks and have been calling for his head ever since.

This morning their wish came true as APMPAS announced Ratner's departure and the director released this open letter apologizing for his defamatory remarks and disrespect to the gay and lesbian community:

Dear Colleagues,

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

Classy, formal and apologetic, but it's a little sad that Ratner just now had the realization that words can hurt people when his movies have been doing that for over a decade now. Academy president Tom Sherak commented on Ratner's decision and behavior saying, "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."

While Ratner was making a poor joke and never really meant to speak poorly about the gay and lesbian community, the situation is a delicate one, and I can't say that this decision is wrong. Though on a certain level it seems a bit hypocritical when plenty of people in show business, especially stand-up comedians, say far worse in their acts or on film, but this is what happens when you put yourself in the spotlight and say things that everyone will hear. Words can hurt whether you intend them to cause harm or not, and Brett Ratner has to learn that lesson the hard way. That's about as close as Ratner will probably get to an Academy Award anyway. A replacement should be announced soon.

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  • Manipulated by God
    Pretty much in this day an age you say something offensive about gays or Jews in Hollywood and you're donezo! Says a lot about who controls Hollywood, just sayin'.
    • Get it straight
      God has nothing to do with gays.
    • Ontheset
      Bret Ratner was kidding around.  He's not about to get banned from movies.  He just walked from the Oscars since the rules about keeping a clean rep are stiff for the Oscars.  I work in the film industry. Just to let everyone know, there's a rule that you never ever trash a director. Olivia “I wish I was Angelina Jolie but lack the curves and talent” Munn thinks she is above the rule. She is about to learn the hard way by getting rejected by productions. Brett Ratner tried to make up with her and be a good man about it all. Olivia Munn is the only bad apple in this situation. She's even bragging about how she got Ratner out of the Oscars on her twitter page.  D-Bag anyone.  It was the gay comment not the argument Ratner and this D-List nobody had.  She's a wildcard and no respectable movie will have her on the set since she has proven that she can't keep her mouth shut.
    • Anonymous
      Yeah, you're right, there should be no consequences for incredibly hurtful and derogatory language. Let's be spiteful and nasty to everyone so we're all equal. Let's start with you. Please list your ethnic background, weight, and other qualities that make you unique so I can disparage them.
    • "Pretty much in this day an age you say something offensive about gays or Jews in Hollywood and you're donezo! Says a lot about who controls Hollywood, just sayin'." The gay jews?
  • Cody
    Weenies.  I don't get offended when people talk shit about big straight tough guys.
    • Mark Simpson-Daniel
      Why would you?
  • Vold
    rediculous.  His comment was not meant to offend and I doubt the people around him were offended. bloody media loves to blow this shit out of proportion.
  • jjboldt
    Not defending his comments at all, but the letter sucking up to GLAAD makes me want to vomit far more that anything he said.
  • Xerxexx
    Meh, seems like the people in hollyweird just wanted some drama so they blew this stupid comment up.
  • Lebowski
    The comments in this thread are fucking laughable. Brett Ratner is a useless, talentless sack of crap. Beyond all the racism that his films are couched in, and the homophic slurs, there is the real 'banging olivia munn' story. He masturbated in front of her in his office while she felt like vomiting. Dude is just an awful, crass, disgusting human being.
  • MovieFan81
    "While Ratner was making a poor joke and never really meant to speak poorly about the gay and lesbian community..." I don't believe that for a second. He certainly didn't mean to speak positively about that community.
    • Lebowski
      this
  • David Rios
    Boo hoo, somebody call the weh mobile.
  • David Banner
    I'm not sure I can ever eat shrimp again.....maybe I am biased?
  • Richie G
    I don't get it, they're associated with show-business all the time. Whats so offensive about rehearsal? That can't possibly be the whole story. I'd be more offended that he thinks people want to know about his sex life
  • ... not crazy about Ratner, I mean, he only did one film that I like, Red Dragon (most people hate don't like it though), so I have no respect for the man, but come on, that was just one comment blown out of proportion by the media...
  • Fan
    hahahah best thing I've heard in ages.  "it's a little sad that Ratner just now had the realization that words can hurt people when his movies have been doing that for over a decade now."
  • The Douche
    The real story is HE BANGED Olivia Munn? Give me a break. I doubt it. If he really did I'm in the wrong business.
  • Meh...he used a word straight guys use to mock each other's masculinity. 
  • Voice of Reason
    Take Eddy "Crap-Fest" Murphy with you, Ratner.
  • Anonymous
    Just further evidence of the pussification of America.  I don't get offended when people tell me I'm too white to dance or laugh at my religion or philosophies.  While I agree he shouldn't have said it as a representative of something bigger than himself, I think people who get bent out of shape over something they call themselves anyway (blacks use the N-word, gays use f*g, women call each other b*tch) are just drama queens looking for attention. Toughen up. The world is a mean place.
    • Anonymous
      I love the heterosexual white guy preaching to us about how tough the world is, offering the example that someone told him he can't dance well. Try walking down the street, holding the hand of someone you love and hearing people yell out "gays" and "faggots." Then be discriminated against in your workplace because you have a picture of someone you love on your desk. Then get gay-bashed outside a bar and told you're going to hell as someone kicks you in the face. Thanks for your civility.
      • Anonymous
        Why do you assume I'm a heterosexual? Because I don't share your view point?  Sure, I'm white. I worked at a 98% black school and I was called "honkey" and "cracka" all the time. Did it bother me? Not really.  Because I know that the people who feel the need to bring others down are just ignorant or secretly hate themselves.  And there is a huge difference between calling someone a slur and discrimination. Calling names is one thing, denying people their rights is another. I'm not defending Ratner; I think he was wrong. I just think people need to calm down.
        • Anonymous
          Alright, let's test it then. Please state honestly, ARE you a heterosexual? This "toughen up" mindset is destructive, especially in an age where record LGBT children are killing themselves (already a target group for hate crimes and violence). Bullies should be taken to task for their behavior and there should be consequences for it. I'm not overly a fan of political correctness, but I would rather err on the side of being PC, then of rampant bigotry and incivility. The world does not to get tougher, it's tough enough as is, it needs to promote compassion and kindness and not belittle the very idea of those attributes.
          • McWetty
            My sexuality isn't important because I'm not a bigot.  I hate the word "faggot". Just like I hate the word "nigger" (or "nigga" for that matter). I don't say hurtful things to people different than me on any level. I don't harass others, I don't condone violence, and I don't want the WORLD to be a tougher place. I want PEOPLE to have tougher skin and realize that Ratner's comments amount to a handful of dog shit.   I agree with you on all fronts with the exception being my civility. I'm not calling you any names, nor am I being irrational. I have had 31 years to realize that the only people who can emotionally hurt you are the ones that you let hurt you. Children kill themselves because of bullies, yes, and those bullies should be educated. But we can save so many more LGBT children by educating them that suicide is not the answer.
          • Anonymous
            I tried to respond to your reply but it's stuck in moderator limbo. I hope it will show up soon.
    • You're not castigated for being an average white guy. Get nicer. The world is a shitty place and we should be less tolerant of egotistical assholes and their insensitivity. 
      • Anonymous
        Do you know me? How do you know I haven't been made fun of my entire life. I have. Those people aren't my friends. I'm nice to people who are nice to me. The same "golden rule" from kindergarden (I'm assuming you actually went to school). Not trying to be insensitive. I'm trying to be realistic. There are FAR worse things in this world to get upset over than some jackass director who makes terrible movies.
        • Bullshit. This is the problem. You're the problem. As someone who's been teased you should be more sensitive. By the way, I don't need to know you to read what you're writing. It isn't rocket science. Your statements are very clear.  We keep redefining what is acceptable behavior and the line keeps getting moved. Soon enough, everything will be OK and it isn't. I'm not saying I've never been offensive. I have, but as I've aged and matured I've seen how my words were hurtful. I'm also not saying I haven't been made fun of. I have, but there's a huge difference between being called "4 eyes" or "Shorty" and being castigated, or beat up or even murdered because you're gay. If you think Ratner's comment doesn't align himself with the people who have done the same or worse than you are naive. Hate groups thrive on even the most subtle statements. Take a sociology class. You might learn that. Should people be tough. Yes. Should they use that toughness to be equally intolerant of shitty behavior. You betcha. Ratner should have stepped down. He acted like an asshole.
          • Anonymous
            It's simple... you keep being hyper-sensitive and I'll keep being level-headed. The line has never moved. Calling names is one thing. Beating up people is another. "Everything" will never be "OK".  The line has never been more clear.  I'm all about protecting against violence in general, not just homosexual.  I support gay marriage and equality in the word place. And I agree Ratner should have stepped down because he said something inappropriate. But for the LGBT community to call for his head is ridiculous. He did the right thing for once. Let's let it go. I'm not going to argue with you anymore because you're becoming agressive. I'm the problem? Calm down.
    • nosurprises
      If you're not black, try calling someone who is black the n-word. It will  be an insult. Not because they're hyper-sensitive, but because you, a white person, called them by that word and evoked a long history of racism. If you're not female, try calling someone who is female a bitch. (Keep in mind: tone is important here.) It will be an insult. Not because they're hyper-sensitive, but because you, a man, called them by that word and evoked a long history of sexism. If you're not gay, try calling someone who is gay a f*g. It will be an insult. Not because they're hyper-sensitive, but because you, a heterosexual person, called them by that word and evoked a long history of hatred and prejudice. You cannot use these words. You know why? Because you're not one of them. Because they have not been used against you in this particular way, because you do not know the power of words as weapons in this particular way; if you think you can sum it all up in a dismissive nutshell and chalk it up to drama-mongering overreacting, then that in and of itself is indicative of the fact that you do not understand and are making no efforts to understand. These communities have reappropriated language that have been used against them as insults, derogatory put-downs, dismissive slurs. Wrds have an incredible amount of power and sometimes an incredibly complex history, which you will be evoking no matter your intentions when you use them. You are not one of them so you do not have the right. Do not pretend you understand, do not attempt to equate it with your white privilege affectations. I cannot stop you from embarrassing yourself, but for your own sake, I do implore: stop embarrassing yourself.
      • Anonymous
        If these words are so loaded, why do these groups continue using them? Why drag out the long history of hatred attached to them? Is it the same reason abused children often become child abusers? Is it because making a negative word into a positive word defines some race or class?  Is it because we've all lost are f'ing minds? Please give me some answers, oh enlightened one, because I want to know why people need to use these negative words.  I don't refer to my fellow whites as "cracker", yet by your logic I should sling it around like it's my god-given right. And that is just plain stupid. Don't pretend to be privileged and white because you clearly understand neither. Stop embarrassing yourself.
    • bgnguyen
      Thank you for saying this. Everyone needs to watch Louis CK about the word "faggot". It's hilarious. Calm down everyone--gays weren't born t to have everyone coddle them when someone calls them names. So someone calls someone a faggot. Whoop-ti-doo-da. If you don't let it get to you because you're level headed, it doesn't really matter. People can call me sweater boy because I like wearing sweaters. WHO CARES. Do what you like. Ignore the rest of em. 
  • I can't figure out what's more offensive: Brett Ratner's comments or X-Men: The Last Stand. Wait. Both are stupid.
  • destroyer
    i think all of you should go outside and see how awful the human race has become, and then try to imagine that you actually care about this story
  • Jason
    Give it a rest. He used a common word and didn't think before speaking. He sucked it up and resigned. Get over it.
  • Liquidspider
    I'm jealous he go to bang Olivia Munn
  • Zbrockman
    Really? I love the gay & lesbian community, but come on y'all are being too damn sensitive. Blacks, Indians and other minority's have dealt with similar in some cases worse slurs than that. Get over it, the man was not trying to hurt anyone it was just a bad choice of words. And I'm sure some of the men & women in the gay community have used sexist, racial & other derogatory slurs one or another.
    • Zbrockman
      At one time or another.
  • Neuromancer
    People getting hurt over words make me laugh. Haha!
  • LumpySpacePrincess
    Well, we can always depend on douche bags to defend their fellow douche bags, can't we?
  • Anonymous
    Well, I certainly agree with everything you just said, and thanks for your response. Cheers.

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