UPDATE: Brett Ratner just resigned as a producer for the Oscars in the wake of making an anti-gay slur, saying, “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.”
Academy President Tom Sherak flip-flopped from his previous support of the Tower Heist director and agreed stepping down was the right thing to do. “Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable.”
Filmmaker Brett Ratner has committed plenty of sins, both personal and cinematic—bragging about banging Olivia Munn and Lindsay Lohan, foisting Horrible Bosses and The Family Man on the American public, hiring Eddie Murphy to host the Oscars.
But he really stuck his foot in it during a Q&A for his new crime comedy, Tower Heist. When asked if he rehearsed his cast a lot, Ratner replied, “Rehearsal? What’s that? Rehearsal’s for fags.”
Maybe the guy who’s in charge of producing the 2012 Academy Awards—and who’s hoping to get a film adaptation of Wicked off the ground—shouldn’t be tossing around the F word?
After the shit hit the fan, Ratner gave a tepid public apology to TheWrap.com on Monday. We guess apologizing is for fags too?
“I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.”
Ugh, we’d curse Tower Heist, but judging from the previews that clunker is gonna bomb all by itself.
The real question is whether Ratner should be axed from the Oscars for the slur. Academy President Tom Sherak has accepted his mea culpa, saying, “the bottom line is, this won’t and can’t happen again. It will not happen again. … The apology he gave I truly believe comes from his heart.”
But, as writer Mark Harris points out on the site Grantland, there’s a double standard at play. “If he had used an equivalent racial or religious slur, the discussion would go something like, ‘You’re fired.’ Apology or not. The same rule applies here. You don’t get a mulligan on homophobia. Not in 2011.”
GLAAD is being predictably soft-fisted, issuing 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.”
If the storm of criticism continues, we wouldn’t be surprised if Ratner voluntarily steps down from the Oscars gig. But we won’t hold our breath waiting for any celebrities to censure him publicly. in fact, Hollywood would probably remain silent if Ratner replaced Murphy with Tracy Morgan.
Image via David Shankbone