Brett Ratner has withdrawn from his position as producer of the 2012 Academy Award ceremony after making a homophobic comment whilst promoting new film Tower Heist .
Ratner described rehearsals as being “for fags” during a question and answer session last Friday (4 November), prompting an angry response from media monitoring organisation GLAAD, who demanded the director apologise for the remark.
Ratner duly responded on Monday (7 November), releasing a statement of apology. “I apologise for any offence my remarks caused,” he said. “It was a dumb and outdated way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. As a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.”
However, Ratner has now gone one step further by actively stepping down from his production duties on this year’s Oscars. “Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career,” he told the media today. “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.”
“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,” he continued in an official public statement. “To them, and to everyone I’ve hurt and offended, I’d like to apologize publicly and unreservedly.”
The director went on to tell reporters that he is “determined to learn from the experience.” The Academy Awards ceremony will be held on 26 February 2012.