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Exile in Oscarville: Ratner’s Slur Shakes Up Oscar Lineup

Posted on Nov 9, 2011
AP / /Matt Sayles

Switcho, changeo: “Tower Heist” producer Brian Grazer, left, and Brett Ratner, director of that movie, at the premiere of Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” in Los Angeles on Nov. 3.

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.


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Next came the attempted apology, delivered Monday by way of an exclusive for Sharon Waxman’s “WaxWord” column on The Wrap.


In an exclusive statement to TheWrap, Ratner said:

“I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. 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.”

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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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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, November 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm Link to this comment

Next time your ‘Muslim’ congresscritter goes on a paid junket to Gaza ask them about the content of Hamas TV shows and attitude against Jews. Here children are propaganized to strive for Islamic world conquest:

here a three year old girl is propagandized to hate infidels, especially Jews, whom she calls apes and pigs, and they need to be killed:

Remember folks, the only reason that there isnt peace is because of Israel’s intransigence. The Palestinians are the good guys and they want peace, peace, peace!

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 11, 2011 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

Next time your ‘Christian’ congresscritter goes on a paid junket to Israel ask them about the content of Israeli TV shows and attitude against Christians.

If this kind of show was shown on TV in the U.S. about Jews, the ADL would come out of the woodwork.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, November 11, 2011 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

The double standard applied to Jews and all others in Hollywood has grown over the years to a point it is not veiled anymore.

Its OK to be a child rapist if you name is Polanski or Allen, you will work another day.

Larry David personified this point years ago in a famous case of him pissing on a picture of Jesus, it was hushed up and is seldom heard of again.  Anything for a laugh, no matter how insulting it is to others, unless it touches on being Jewish and then it is serious.

I attempted to post the link to ‘The Ugly Truth’ which outlined this story and others by Sarah Silverman, Seinfeld and Larry David but it comes up as a blacklisted site with truthdig.  B D is another such site.

Truthdig needs to come clean with these sites.

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By Hobbs, November 11, 2011 at 1:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Robespierre115,exactly…especially since Maher is Jewish (ok,half)..if it was a
Christian or Muslim celebrity making similar comments about Jewish people there
would be all hell to pay…

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By todzzgod, November 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

I read this story to see if any of it was relevant to reality like OWS,expensive empire building and the wars we have started that have killed millions, people starving, unemployment etc. Things that really matter but no nothing reality based here. Just 2 pages of mental masturbation and a waste of time.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, November 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

But bigoted jokes against Christians are a-ok!

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, November 9, 2011 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

Ratner gets burned for making stupid comments, but let’s be honest here, people like Ratner and Von Trier get burned because it’s safe to burn them, but nobody does anything in Hollywood when people like Bill Maher openly make racist, bigoted jokes or comments about Muslim Americans or Muslims in general.

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