Brett Ratner has resigned from his position as producer of next year's Oscars following a series of remarks he made in the press last week. During a Q&A for his new movie Tower Heist, the director appeared to use a gay slur before detailing his sexual conquests on Howard Stern's radio show.
In a lengthy resignation letter, seen by the UK's Guardian newspaper, the 42-year-old explained he had "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". Concern surrounding Ratner's position as producer were first raised last week when the director attended a press junket for Tower Heist. When asked by a member of the audience how he handled rehearsals for a group of high profile actors including Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller, Ratner replied, "Rehearsal? What's that? Rehearsal's for fags". Although he apologised for the ill-advised comment, the director followed it up with a bizarre interview with Stern in which he claimed to have slept with a "very young" Lindsay Lohan. In his extensive resignation letter, the Rush Hour filmmaker said, "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".
Although a question mark remains over Eddie Murphy's continuing participation in the Oscars show - he is set to present the ceremony in February - it is understood the Tower Heist star has no plans to walk.