By Christopher Campbell | Spout November 7, 2011 at 10:04PM
"Tower Heist" director and 2012 Academy Awards producer Brett Ratner was in the news today for an offensive remark made over the weekend regarding his dislike for rehearsals. He also seemed to have a dislike for homosexuals given his choice of a certain "f word." But he apparently was just putting his foot in his mouth and didn't mean anything derogatory in his use of the slur. "It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body," he told The Wrap.
Well, many aren't accepting his "sorry," and they want him canned from his duties overseeing next year's Oscars. While there didn't seem to be any petitions started for the cause (unlike many past petitions to get Ratner off films he'd been hired for), the blogs made their stance known that he's unforgiven. GLAAD is a bit easier, stating the apology is at least "a good start." But even now that The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have issued their official response, I doubt the requests for his dismissal.
Is an apology really enough? Will the Academy’s Board of Governors stand for this? Will prospective awards presenters — gays and straights alike — look past the artless, guileless man behind the curtain? Moreover, does Brett Ratner have enough of a grip on reality to get through the next three and a half months of Oscar posturing and politics in a media sphere that’s dying to see him flame out? [...] There’s still time for the Academy to make a change.
While I'm certain that no Ratner bone is cause for concern, I do have to question the wisdom of having him produce this year's Academy Awards. My eyebrow was already raised with the announcement that Eddie Murphy was going to host the "Gay Super Bowl," and now both brows are arched with concern.
I’ve had to listen to versions of every one of these mea-not-quite-culpas over the years and seriously, I’m no longer interested in patiently witnessing the slow arc of a public figure’s learning curve. What I do care about is what the Academy does, which should be either to ask for and receive his resignation from the show or to drop him as the producer of a show that is supposed to represent the best the industry has to offer. There’s not really a long, nuanced debate to be had about this. 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.
If you want my opinion, yes, he should be… Harris says it best, this kind of conduct is not what you'd expect from "the producer of a show that is supposed to represent the best the industry has to offer." I would assume, at the very least, the Academy has to issue a statement at this point.
Thanks to this essay by Mark Harris at Grantland.com. I feel a lot less like a fuming hothead for suggesting earlier that Brett Ratner’s behavior shouldn’t be pardoned.
Keep in mind: if Ratner is fired, Eddie Murphy (who has his own controversial history with that particular slur from his comedy specials 'Delirious' and 'Raw') is probably gone. That shouldn't be a factor in a decision like this, but it kinda does -- which is also why it's very unlikely that Ratner will be fired.
Would Hollywood let Mel Gibson host the Oscars? Hell no! Then the same should hold for Ratner. Also, if he thinks that he can pull off the Oscar show without even one rehearsal than he's something far worse than a "fag." He's an idiot.
As a gay man I'm offended by Ratner using the f-word, but, I mean, it's Brett Ratner. I'm not surprised. I'm not shocked. I'm just depressed a man who has shown so little talent keeps floating to the top and making a fool out of our industry and art form. That's the real reason Sherak should let him go as this year's Oscar producer.
His remarks were inappropriate,” Sherak told Deadline. “He said it best in his apology, that his comments were dumb and insensitive. When you think of our community, it went against all the beliefs of the creative community we represent. He knew it was wrong and he issued that response as quickly as any human being ever has. The bottom line is, this won’t and can’t happen again. It will not happen again. He apologized and we will move forward. How do I know this? I’ve known this man for a very long time. He has many friends who are members of the gay and lesbian community. The apology he gave I truly believe comes from his heart. If I didn’t believe it, I would do something about it. This is about integrity and honoring the Academy Awards, but we all make mistakes and I believe he didn’t mean it.