Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Brett Ratner Resigns as Oscars Producer, Proving He Is Not Such a Crappy Dude After All

Photo: Brett Ratner on November 3, 2011 in Hollywood, California.

Whoops! I see, now, that it is difficult to fit Brett Ratner‘s entire head on just one website. My apologies.

Let’s all catch up: a short while ago, X-Men 3 director Brett Ratner was doing press rounds for his new flick Tower Heist, which reportedly is not a good movie. (Surprise! Sorry, guys, I know you were excited.) And in the course of a Q&A, he actually managed to utter the phrase “Rehearsal is for f*gs.”

And on the one hand, Oh! How edgy and off-the-cuff, Mr. John Mayer! And on another hand: shut up, Ratner. Like, I get that he positions himself as this easygoing frat boy—but really? A homophobic slur? Must we use epithets to make a case for “everyman appeal”? Because being hateful and anti-intellectual is not “everyman.” Life is not Xbox Live, people. This garbage is crass and lame and obvious and stupid and hateful, and also not very edgy. And did I mention hateful? So you can see why nobody likes Brett Ratner right now.

So he said that, and it was already an inauspicious beginning to Brett Ratner’s week. Next he visited G4’s Attack of the Show and, while I guess he maybe intended to sell out Olivia Munn, Ratner basically confirmed that he has a small penis instead. Why he would do that, I have no idea. (I also have no idea how “shrimp grease” figures into it, and yet, even now, I am comfortable with my own lack of understanding.) Then Ratner apologized to Howard Stern (?), saying he never intended to make Miss Munn “look like a whore.”

But! Did you know that Brett Ratner was also producing this year’s Academy Awards? Ah! Let me emphasize “was,” because he is not producing them anymore. Rather, Brett Ratner has given up his roost.

Admittedly, his initial statement in the aftermath of controversy—it was some sort of variation on “I’m sorry you guys feel that way”—wasn’t so good. And Funny or Die made appropriate light of it:


But given his circumstances and his latest statement—you might shoot me for saying this, but it’s true—I’d like to tip my hat to Brett Ratner. Don’t get me wrong: I have never liked Brett Ratner. Not even fleetingly; not ever. I will never appreciate Brett Ratner’s value as either a director or a person. But! Deadline reports that Ratner was not fired. In fact, had Ratner never resigned as producer, the Academy might have retained his services and defended him to the end.

Ratner instead slunk off, and as he did, he gave this tail-between-the-legs, extremely measured statement, which is well worth reading:

An Open Letter to the Entertainment Industry from Brett Ratner

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last few days, I’ve 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 in a number of recent media appearances. To them, and to everyone I’ve hurt and offended, I’d like to apologize publicly and unreservedly.

As difficult as the last few days have been for me, they cannot compare to the experience of any young man or woman who has been the target of offensive slurs or derogatory comments. And they pale in comparison to what any gay, lesbian, or transgender individual must deal with as they confront the many inequalities that continue to plague our world.

So many artists and craftspeople in our business are members of the LGBT community, and it pains me deeply that I may have hurt them. I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter. Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted. With this in mind, and to all those who understandably feel that apologies are not enough, please know that I will be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve so foolishly perpetuated.

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.

I am grateful to GLAAD for engaging me in a dialogue about what we can do together to increase awareness of the important and troubling issues this episode has raised and I look forward to working with them. I am incredibly lucky to have a career in this business that I love with all of my heart and to be able to work alongside so many of my heroes. I deeply regret my actions and I am determined to learn from this experience.

Brett Ratner

Disingenuous or not, this is a fine resignation letter. Imagine, then, how relieved the Academy is. “He did the right thing for the Academy and himself,” president Tom Sherak said—there was a teensy bit more, but I’m too annoyed—in an official Academy statement.

In a statement. A statement! OK: I am honestly hardly irked that Brett Ratner is some overgrown, disgusting man-child who makes slurs, hates women, and can’t keep his shrimp-glossed hands to himself. I mean, good God: what’s new? But Ratner got his PR to write one hell of a resignation letter, and whether or not his new apology is credible, he absolutely did the right thing to assure us of his penance.

So now, in a total reversal of the expected, I am actually pretty peeved that the Academy would never have released a statement were it not for Ratner’s act of semi-selfless crucifixion. Should Ratner have apologized? Yes. Should he have resigned from his position? Yes, I think so. But there is something so obsequious and gross about the Academy hopping in and suddenly going “Hooray! This is what we always expected, wanted, and hoped for!”

Because the truth, as I have read it, is: the Academy never really expected Ratner to drop out, never anticipated having to scramble for a new producer, and never gave a cockamamied crap about Brett Ratner’s little war on behavior and taste, not until Ratner himself issued an apology. So what if Brett Ratner is loathsome? That I can buy! I always knew! But the way the entire Academy was willing to sit by and ignore his comments, and finally joined in on the auto-da-fé once Ratner conceded his mistakes? That’s pretty spineless and despicable.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • It’s true, the Academy played a very opportunistic angle in how this played out. Eddie Murphy is shaking in his leather onesy.

    But damn, that is the longest face I’ve seen on the internet since Ron Perlman

    • If I’m not mistaken, I think this whole event (supposedly) calls Eddie Murphy’s participation into check, or maybe I dreamed reading that part. But more importantly: I uploaded the Total Head and I was just like, wow! What is wrong with my screen resolution.