Tom Sherak accepts Brett Ratner resignation from Oscars

'Rush Hour' director Brett Ratner handed in his resignation to Academy President Tom Sherak after controversial anti-gay comments from a Q and A was aired, badly damaging his credibility to produce next year’s show.

Ratner was responding to questions after a screening over the weekend for his latest movie ‘Tower Heist’ when he said that, “rehearsals is for fags.” Later on in the day, the director went on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM and the interview quickly turned towards his sexual desires, including his romantic encounter with Lindsay Lohan. Without going into too much detail, the ‘faux’ publicity stunt did him no favours, especially with the linkage to his involvement with the 84th Academy Awards; the film industry’s most prestigious annual event. Such controversy was painful to hear, and it is obvious that Ratner and the Oscars had to save face.

The Oscars formally released a statement regarding the resignation, but the damage is far from over, as both parties have to find a quick solution. The Oscars on one hand have to decide whether Ratner’s host pick, Eddie Murphy, should also go. On the other, who will produce next year’s telecast, and how can we not see this kind of controversy happen again?

For Ratner, his other commitments may be at risk as his comments and recent ‘showboating’ undermine his credibility and his recent actions have caused offence to the gay community. It’s sad to see someone take such risks for a bit of attention, and this just went a little too far. I hope Ratner can recover from this but it won’t be an easy ride for him.

Brett Ratner Letter of Resignation and apology : (Source)

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

Oscars Statement

Tom Sherak

"He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself. Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. 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."

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