Earlier today Oscar Producer Brett Ratner officially stepped down stepped down as Oscar producer, after several dumb public statements that he originally made while on the Howard Stern radio show promoting Tower Heist. What makes this such a compelling story is that Ratner, when hired, convinced the Academy that he wanted to stir things up and bring in a comedian to host the Oscars, and he did; he landed comedic actor Eddie Murphy. Since filming Tower Heights, Ratner and Murphy built a bond that was stated to be strong as they committed to doing several other projects together including films like Soul, Soul, Soul and other unnamed films.
Now, since the announcement Hollywood is buzzing on whether Murphy will be cut from the Oscar telecast or if he will quit because of his strong relationship with Ratner. As of this writing, our sources say that Murphy was not pleased with the announcement from Ratner, but he was still looking forward to hosting. We can also confirm that because Murphy was in sync with Ratner, that there may be some new wrinkles in this story. Our sources stated that they would not be surprised if Murphy bowed out if the Oscars started to develop into something that he was not comfortable with. As of this writing, he is still on board- officially.
Anyway, here is the story about Ratner that was released by Deadline earlier;
UPDATE: The Academy is not commenting beyond the statement it issued about Brett Ratner’s resignation, but I’m told that a search will begin quickly for another producer to join Don Mischer in putting together the Oscarcast. The expectation is at the moment is that Eddie Murphy will hang in as Oscar host. It is also clear that while AMPAS president Tom Sherak pledged to back Ratner as long as he didn’t screw up again, a chorus of Academy members, actors and filmmakers, were so upset by Ratner’s homophobic comment and his lewd comments on the Howard Stern radio show that the Academy was under extreme pressure to drop him.
EARLIER: Brett Ratner has stepped down as Oscar producer, after a slew of dumb public statements that put the Academy in a terrible situation. This comes hours after Academy president Tom Sherak said he was standing behind Ratner despite his using the word “fag” in a Q&A to promote Tower Heist, and speaking graphically about his sex life on the cable TV show Attack of the Show and also in a phone interview with the Howard Stern show. From what I’m told, the Academy board met and backed Sherak’s decision to stand behind Ratner, but the filmmakers finally threw in the towel. I doubt anybody tried to talk him out of it. Now, the biggest question is: Will Eddie Murphy stay on as Oscar host? I wouldn’t be surprised that after Tower Heist‘s lackluster box office and all this maelstrom, Murphy might wonder why he ever said yes in the first place, and he has a perfect out. The other question is, who will become the new Oscar producer? The Academy will make its list quickly. I’m told that they were looking closely at New York stage producer Scott Sanders before they made the surprising decision to give the job to Ratner. Maybe they will go back to him or one of the other producers who’ve done the show before, a list that includes Joe Roth and Laurence Mark. Here is the statement: