Eddie Murphy Out as Oscars Host
UPDATE: Brian Grazer has accepted the job as Oscar producer, replacing Ratner, which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirms. "It's very gratifying to be part of a show that honors excellence in the medium to which I have devoted so much of my career," said Grazer.
"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. "I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job."
Ratner stepped down after a series of gaffes and blunders. First, 'Tower Heist,' his flick starring Murphy, bombed at the box office over the weekend. Then, while promoting the flick, Ratner used a gay slur, saying "rehearsals are for fags."
The director quickly issued an apology, but the fervor continued. "I apologize for any offense my remarks caused," he said. "It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words." But clearly that wasn't enough."
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak said he supported Ratner and decision to step down as a producer for the Oscars. Sherak issued a statement announcing Murphy's departure from the awards show. "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well," he said.
The Oscars will air on ABC Sun., Feb. 26, 2012.
Tell us: Who should replace Eddie Murphy as host? Some suggestions here!