Oscars producer resigns after ‘gay slur’

Director Brett Ratner has resigned as a producer of the 2012 Oscars after using a derogatory term in public.

“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,” he said in an open letter.

His departure follows his use of the word “fags” in a Q&A session last week.

In a statement, Academy president Tom Sherak said Ratner was “a good person” who had made “unacceptable” comments.

“Words have meaning, and they have consequences,” he continued.

“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.”

Ratner, whose films include Rush Hour and Red Dragon, was appointed as a co-producer of the 2012 Academy Awards in August.

One of his first acts was to recruit Eddie Murphy, the star of his most recent film Tower Heist, to be its presenter.

It was while discussing Tower Heist last week in a Los Angeles cinema that the director made what he has since called “hurtful and stupid” remarks.

Asked about his working methods, he responded by saying: “Rehearsal is for fags” – a derogatory term for gay men.

“Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body,” the director said in an initial statement.

“But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.”

That was followed by an “open letter to the entertainment industry” in which he apologised “publicly and unreservedly… to everyone I’ve hurt and offended”.

US TV producer Don Mischer will remain as producer of the 84th Academy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on 26 February.


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