Brett Ratner Resigns as Producer of the Oscars; Pens Open Letter Apologizing to Hollywood

     November 8, 2011

Physically unable to remove his foot from his mouth, Brett Ratner is having a very bad week. The Tower Heist director came under scrutiny for crudely bragging that he “banged” Olivia Munn a few times but didn’t remember who she was, when responding to a passage in Munn’s recent book that described a highly unflattering encounter she once had with the director. He then apologized for his claim, saying that he actually lied about having relations with Munn (excusing himself by exclaiming “She’s hot!”). Then, he came under intense fire for responding to a Q&A question about his directorial style by saying “Rehearsal is for fags.”

So it’s no surprise that Ratner has now stepped down as producer of the upcoming Oscar telecast. There’s no word on what this means for Eddie Murphy’s involvement as host, but I’m hoping he stays onboard. As for Ratner, he was a strange choice to begin with and the ignorance and overall asshole-ness of his comments have actually made him an even less appealing human being. Tom Sherak, president of AMPAS said in a statement: “Words have meaning, and they have consequences.” Hit the jump to read an open letter of apology to Hollywood from Ratner himself.

brett-ratner-image-2Here’s the letter:

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.


Brett Ratner

Around The Web
  • Clayton

    Ok, fine. But why stop there. How about an apology for 3 Rush Hour movies and X Men: Last Stand?

    • Dick Grayson

      Thank you!

  • jewman

    apologies are for fags and for the weak. But well, he has to protect his career at all cost.

  • mols

    How is he even finding work? The rat has no talent, no ability, no likability. He’s a douche and a hack. He probably does a ton of cock sucking just to get a meal in Hollywood.

  • Luke Cowles

    What I don’t get is why so many boneheads feel this way much less blow their mouths off like this. Doesn’t Ratner, Mel Gibson, Mark Wahlberg and so many other closeted homophobes and bigots realize that they owe a LARGE part of their careers to the thousands of gay producers, directors, studio executives, casting directors, etc. etc. that work in the business? You’d think they’d learn working right along side these fine folks that they’re people…just like them. Imagine that! At least you’d think they’d stop before they blew their mouths off if for no other reason than to not bite the very hand that feeds them. I believe it’s in times of anger and in those “Freudian slips” that everyone has were we REALLY say what we believe….because it’s spontaneous. We’re not self-censoring to be socially acceptable. Unfortunately, I believe what he said…and I don’t mean the apology.

  • whatever

    By “pens” you mean “had his publicists carefully craft”. Forget about his utter lack of talent as a director, his absolute commitment to turning out the worst brand of corporate garbage entertainment product. Ratner apologists always overlook the fact that most people in the world (even in Hollywood) don’t have persistent reputations for being reptilian @ssholes. Hope this costs him many projects.

  • Josh

    THERE IS A GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Edward Lee

    Apologies are for f@gs.

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  • Miles Bennett Dyson

    classic hollywood bullshit

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  • Al

    I’m just waiting for an article about Michael Bay where he says something equally homophobic.

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  • Scott

    If only he would have called some conservative a Nazi or something, we could all have the Academy Awards Show we have dreamt of.

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  • Mike

    I think he meant to say: “Rehearsal is for my beloved client Eddie Murphy who is the most important thing in my life as a producer. Whatever Eddie needs is what I’ll do to help him put on the best Oscars ever!” Say what you mean, mean what you say. Apologies don’t matter. If you don’t know how to do public speaking then just say “no comment.” He should apologize to Eddie Murphy not to the press. And gay people, are there any of you so fragile you couldn’t handle what he said? You are just as full of it as this Ratner guy. Rehearsal is for anyone who needs it.

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