Dec 10, 2013
Exile in Oscarville: Ratner’s Slur Shakes Up Oscar Lineup
Posted on Nov 9, 2011
A bad strain of foot-in-mouth syndrome that apparently favors film directors has struck again. In the spring, we watched Lars von Trier’s ill-conceived Hitler joke get him summarily ejected from the Cannes Film Festival, and now fellow helmer Brett Ratner finds himself similarly afflicted after letting fly with a homophobic slur at a promotional event last weekend for his latest movie, “Tower Heist.” Thus ensued a chain of events that cost Ratner his directing gig at next year’s Oscars, cost the Oscars next year’s host, “Tower Heist” star Eddie Murphy, and found the film’s producer, Brian Grazer, subbing in for Ratner. Got that?
Here’s the play-by-play: During a Q&A after Sunday night’s screening, Ratner gave his take on the practice of rehearsing scenes before filming by stating that “rehearsal’s for fags.” He clearly wasn’t praising gay men for their preparation skills, and his comment went viral—normally a welcome bit of incidental publicity in The Industry, but not this time. Here it is.
Next came the attempted apology, delivered Monday by way of an exclusive for Sharon Waxman’s “WaxWord” column on The Wrap.
Right. But that wasn’t enough to quell the fears of Oscar organizers. First, as The Onion’s A/V Club noted with its trademark ironic snark that day, the Academy has to keep all its constituents happy, including LGBT members: “Fortunately, there aren’t very many of those in the film industry, so it’s alllll gooooood.”
What’s more, Ratner added fuel to his impending Oscar flameout with some ribald material about his sex life that he decided to try out on Howard Stern’s radio show Monday. Here’s a clip of that blue interview:
HOWARDTV via YouTube:
.... And scene. That clinched it for Ratner’s Oscar exit. On Tuesday morning he took the hint, by that point blaring in stereo, and called Academy head Tom Sherak to officially bow out of the show.
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