By John Mitchell
Brett Ratner is currently on some sort of apology tour after using an anti-gay slur during a question-and-answer session while promoting “Tower Heist.” His latest atonement, following a formal apology and his resignation as producer of next year’s Oscars, is, like Tracy Morgan before him, to team up with GLAAD to “convene public discussions featuring leaders in the entertainment industry about promoting fair and accurate inclusions of LGBT people and stories.”
“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,” Herndon Graddick, GLAAD’s senior director of Programs and Communications, said in a statement.
That’s all well and good and, of course, it’s admirable that he’s taking some responsibility for saying something as foolish as “Rehearsal is for f**s.” But come on. Why is no one calling this guy out on all the other things he’s been saying that he should be apologizing for? Namely the misogynistic and racist remarks he made about Olivia Munn and Lindsay Lohan.
Let’s start with the grossest of all the frat-guy trash this dude has offered up recently. During a call to Howard Stern’s radio show, Ratner went into rather graphic detail about his relationship with a “very young” Lindsay Lohan.
He bragged about performing oral sex on Lohan, saying, “I’m probably the best in the world,” adding that he knows he’s the best “because they cry.” He also admitted he had Lohan tested for STDs before the two slept together in 2006 – you know, when she was 20 and he was 37.
“Before I have sex with a girl, I do do one weird thing,” Ratner told Stern. “I do take ‘em to the doctor and check ‘em out. I’m like a cootie freak. I’m a germaphobe. I’m a hypochondriac. Before I go all the way, I send the girl to the doctor and check them for everything. My doctor has a test to tell if you’re going to catch something in the future even.”
For the record, Lohan came back clean. Aren’t you glad you know that? He went on to recount how Lohan later found him in bed with a Victoria’s Secret model and the two got into a fight over him.
In a separate but equally tasteful and appropriate conversation on G4’s “Attack of the Show,” Ratner copped to being the unnamed director mentioned in Olivia Munn’s book “Suck It, Wonder Woman: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek,” admitting that he “banged her a few times” but forgot who she was when she later came in to audition for him. He did, however, deny Munn’s account that he masturbated in front of her while eating a shrimp cocktail, but didn’t really take on her charge that he was, er, packing a shrimp of his own.
While all the sex talk about Munn and Lohan is patently tasteless, it’s another quote about Munn that gets under my skin more. “I used to date Olivia Munn … when she was Lisa. That was the problem,” he told “AOTS” host Kevin Pereira. “She wasn’t Asian back then.”
What? His point, I suppose, is that Munn now supposedly plays up her race like it’s some sort of Hollywood wild card. That perhaps it’s some sort of joke when she does a report on “The Daily Show” as its “Senior Asian Correspondent” because it wasn’t listed as a talent on her resume when he first met “Lisa.” That’s a pretty crazy thing to toss out there so offhandedly, yes?
From the get go, I believed the Academy made the wrong choice in giving Ratner the reins on the biggest night in Hollywood. He’s a financially successful director, yes, but he also has a well-deserved reputation for frat boy antics and lowbrow humor, neither of which have any place at the Academy Awards. Say what you will about the Oscars — namely that they can be boring — but they’re anything but lowbrow… and given Ratner’s recent string of public misfires, particularly the ones he hasn’t apologized for, “lowbrow” is just about the only word we can think of to describe the almost-Oscar producer.
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