Photo Credit: Getty Images
Director Brett Ratner is not having a stellar week. His mega-budgeted comedy Tower Heist, starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, failed to land the top spot at the box office last weekend, he got caught using a homophobic slur, and now he's had to quit his prestigious job as producer of the 2012 Academy Awards ceremony.
The controversial filmmaker, who generated a swirl of negative press after saying pre-production rehearsal "is for f*gs" while promoting his new film, issued a statement explaining his resignation.
"Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career," Ratner, 42, said in a statement. "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."
President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tom Sherak tells The Hollywood Reporter that Ratner "did the right thing for the Academy and for himself" by stepping down from his post.
"Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable," Sherak said. "We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent."
Like most celebrities caught making homophobic remarks, Ratner has been approached by GLAAD, the gay media watchdog group, to "to convene public discussions featuring leaders in the entertainment industry about promoting fair and accurate inclusions of LGBT people and stories."