Brett Ratner lost out on his chance to produce the 2012 Academy Awards when he thoughtlessly told a reporter that “rehearsals are for fags.”
When word got out, Ratner apologized—saying the slur “was a dumb way of expressing myself.”
And he backed out of the prestigious ceremony, saying in a statement, “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 represent.”
LGBT leaders called foul on Ratner’s language: GLAAD issued a statement saying, “this apology is a good start, but we’re working with Ratner’s people for more action, to clearly send a message to Hollywood that the anti-gay slurs used by bullies and bigots have no place in the world of entertainment, or anywhere else.”
And, soon enough, Ratner partnered with Tom Ford and GLSEN on a public-service announcement addressing the use of anti-gay language among teens.
So far, a fairly familiar arch for a publicity fumble like Ratner’s.
Cut to now, 16 months later: GLAAD is bestowing its Ally Award on the Rush Hour director at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 16. The-media watchdog group is also launching a “Coming Out for Equality PSA” series Ratner worked on. (The clips feature celebrities like Jackie Chan, Charlie Sheen, Giada De Laurentiis and Pauley Perrette speaking in support of the LGBT community.)
“Brett Ratner’s dedication and leadership will inspire countless people to speak out in support of LGBT friends, family, neighbors and children,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “From high-school jocks to faith leaders, those who follow Brett’s lead are admired and heralded, while anti-LGBT bullies are increasingly ridiculed and marginalized.”
There’s nothing wrong with Ratner being acknowledged for his personal growth, and the lengths he went to to make things right. But let’s not forget it wasn’t pure altruism that got the director involved in the LGBT-equality movement.
Maybe Madonna can give him a good spanking on stage? If not for his foul language then for helping to foist Movie 43 on the world.
The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 16, in Los Angeles on April 20 and in San Francisco on May 11.
Photo: David Shankbone