Wrapping up a week in which Brett Ratner, storyteller, gathered the nation’s children and, like a horny Hans Christian Andersen, regaled with them classic fanciful tales like “The Shrimp And The Munn (Whom I Banged),” "Seven STD Tests For Lindsay Lohan," “Georgie Porgie, Puddin' And Pie, Gave All The Girls Oral Sex And Made Them Cry,” and of course, “The Fag Who Rehearsed Because He Was A Fag,” Brett Ratner has packed up his stool and stepped down from producing next year’s Oscars, bowing to increasing pressure from staid critics who believe such whimsy is a waste of time. Also, kind of churlish and disgusting.
Ratner’s announcement came less than a day after Academy president Tom Sherak said that he’d accepted Ratner’s most recent apology, remaining convinced that those few asinine comments that this time arrived in an unfortunate row would in no way reflect poorly on the standard of class most associate with Brett Ratner—nor on the Ratner-produced Oscars telecast, which would retain the sense of grace and humility that is associated with the awards ceremony but with more tits, maybe. But unfortunately, other members of the Academy disagreed, and eventually Ratner was forced to tell his saddest story—“The Man Who Was Really, Really Sorry, Or, A Dreary Afternoon In A Publicist’s Office”—in the form of the following official statement:
An Open Letter To The Entertainment Industry From Brett Ratner
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.
Sincerely, Brett Ratner
Unfortunately, Ratner’s new duties as ambassador for gay tolerance have left the telecast scrambling to find a new producer—though according to Deadline, it seems likely that Ratner’s handpicked writing team (many of whom, coincidentally, wrote Tower Heist) will remain, so long as Eddie Murphy stays on as host. Fortunately, Eddie Murphy hasn’t tried being funny in interviews for nearly 25 years.