Actor Eddie Murphy has withdrawn as host of the Oscars, amid producer Brett Ratner’s resignation over an anti-gay slur. Murphy reportedly followed Ratner, the director of his latest film Tower Heist, out the door.
Murphy was picked by Ratner to host the award ceremony.
A statement read that 42-year-old Ratner was “under fire” for using an anti-gay slur. It further read that Ratner “did the right thing for the academy and for himself.”
Murphy’s statement of resignation was accepted by the academy this week: “First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony,” Murphy said in a statement.
Ratner reportedly used a pejorative term for gay men during a press conference at a screening for Tower Heist. When asked a question about rehearsing, Ratner said that “rehearsing is for fags”.
Ratner, whose credits also include the Rush Hour film franchise, said that being asked to produce the Oscar show would have been the highlight of his career. He was very sorry about the comment he made and would work hard in the coming weeks to attempt to rectify what he could and apologize to those who found his remark offensive.