The Oscars Will Never Be the Tonys
UPDATE: After meeting with GLAAD, Bret Ratner has resigned as producer of the Academy Awards. “When we sat down with Brett today, he seemed very sincere in his desire to use this experience as a way to begin speaking out against anti-gay language in popular culture,” says Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs at GLAAD. “We believe this resignation is just the first step and will be announcing a series of concrete actions in coming days and weeks with Brett.”
Brett Ratner, the guy responsible for such “gems” as Rush Hour and Cop House, got himself into some trouble this week after he told an audience in L.A. that “rehearsals are for fags,” reports The Wrap. This was after a reporter asked if he and the cast of his latest film Tower Heist spent a lot of time working on their scenes.
What has the Academy worried is that Ratner is producing the Oscars this year – which is the only way to explain how they dug Eddie Murphy up to host (Murphy also stars, surprise, in Tower Heist). Does this guy really think he can pull off a four-hour awards show without rehearsing like, um, a bunch of sissies?
“I apologize for any offense my remarks caused,” Ratner says in a statement. “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.”
We don’t know which is more perverse – the fact that this guy doesn’t realize that the “F” word is pretty darn prejudiced or that he honestly thinks that directing that Charlie Sheen-Heather Locklear flop Money Talks makes him a storyteller.
Interestingly, Bruce Vilanch, the openly gay scribe who’s been writing the Oscars and other awards shows since 1989, has not been rehired by Ratner for this year’s show. Instead, the L.A. Times is reporting that Ratner and his cronies have hired a new crop of writers – many of which have written for the director’s films. Guess this means we can expect a lot of car chases, explosions and misogyny when the show broadcasts in February.
As if this isn’t enough, Ratner’s other claim to fame recently has been going on talk shows to brag about his sexual exploits and to lie about sleeping with actress Olivia Munn for which he has also had to apologize. These antics – coupled with his anti-gay slurs – have many people asking (and rightly so) is this guy really good for the Oscars?
“This apology is a good start,” says a statement from GLAAD, “but we’re working with Ratner’s people for more action, to clearly send a message to Hollywood that anti-gay slurs used by bullies and bigots have no place in the world of entertainment, or anywhere else.”
Mel Gibson will never get a pass. Why should Ratner?