In a move that falls right in line with the old adage “actions speak louder than words,” director Brett Ratner has stepped down as producer of the 2012 Academy Awards .
Ratner submitted his resignation to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization in charge of the Oscars, on Tuesday (November 8), according to a statement posted on Oscars.org. The “Tower Heist” director has been making headlines over the past few days — first, due to his comments about a sexual relationship with Olivia Munn, then at a screening of “Heist,” where he used a gay slur, claiming that “rehearsal is for f–s.”
“He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself,” Academy President Tom Sherak said in the statement. “Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. 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.”
Ratner explained his resignation in an open letter to the entertainment industry, obtained by Deadline.
“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,” he wrote. “To them, and to everyone I’ve hurt and offended, I’d like to apologize publicly and unreservedly.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Ratner apologized for the gay slur on Monday. “I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb and outdated way of expressing myself,” Ratner said 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.”
The statement was condemned by gay-rights organization GLAAD, which acknowledged the apology but said it did not go far enough.
Sherak initially stood behind Ratner as 2012 Oscar producer but warned that the organization would not put up with any more indiscretions. “The bottom line is, this won’t and can’t happen again,” he told Deadline on Monday. “It will not happen again.”
No word yet on whether this will affect plans for Ratner-recruited “Heist” star Eddie Murphy to host the show .