It has been a crazy couple of days for the Oscar telecast. This past week, director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) went on a press tour that was either for his new movie Tower Heist, or to just tell people he's an idiot. First he went on G4's Attack of the Show and decided to bad mouth former co-host Olivia Munn by talking about how many times he "banged her" and announce she wasn't always Asian. His next stop was Howard Stern to admit he lied about Munn and then claim he had sex with Lindsay Lohan in 2006. He then went on to talk about how he takes women to the doctor before he sleeps with them because he's a hypochondriac. But it's okay because his doctor, "..has a test to tell if you're going to catch something in the future even." This was all topped at a Q&A for Tower Heist when he said that "Rehearsal's for fags."
Did we also mention that he was the producer for the upcoming Academy Awards telecast? No? That's okay because he no longer is. Yesterday this statement was put out by the Academy.
Beverly Hills, CA – This morning, Brett Ratner submitted his resignation as a producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards to Academy President Tom Sherak. Ratner then issued an open letter to the entertainment industry in which he explained his decision.
"He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself," Sherak said. "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."
Then the attention turned to Oscar host Eddie Murphy. It was supposed to be his triumphant return to performing on stage, and show the world that he still has the chops to be a great stand-up comedian. After telling Jimmy Kimmel that stand-up comedy has nothing to do with hosting the Oscars (seriously), I had some reservations about it. Then as many suspected, today Eddie Murphy dropped out of being the host because Brett did. Here is the official release from the Academy.
Beverly Hills, CA – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced that Eddie Murphy has withdrawn as host of the 84th Academy Awards. "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well," said Sherak.
Commented Murphy, "First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party's decision with regard to a change of producers for this year's Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job."
This whole mess gave the Oscars more publicity than they could have paid for, and had them scrambling to try and find a new producer. Just a little while ago the Academy sent out a press release announcing that Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, The Grinch, The DaVinci Code, Night Shift) would now be producing the telecast.
Beverly Hills, CA – Academy President Tom Sherak announced today that Academy Award®-winner Brian Grazer will join Don Mischer as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards. This will be the first time Grazer has produced the Oscar® telecast.
"Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who over the past 25 years has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work," said Sherak. "He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscars®."
"I am thrilled to welcome Brian Grazer as my partner and that we will be collaborating to produce an outstanding show," echoed Mischer.
"It’s very gratifying to be part of a show that honors excellence in the medium to which I have devoted so much of my career," said Grazer. "Don is a legend, and I am excited to work with him."
"I too am delighted that Brian will join Don in producing the Academy Awards and I am looking forward to our producers delivering the movie event of the year," commented Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.
Grazer has earned four Academy Award nominations. He won a Best Picture Oscar in 2001 for "A Beautiful Mind." In 1984, Grazer was nominated in the writing category for "Splash," and he received Best Picture nominations in 1995 and 2008 for "Apollo 13" and "Frost/Nixon," respectively. His other film credits include "Spies Like Us," "Kindergarten Cop," "The Nutty Professor," "Liar Liar," "8 Mile" and "Cinderella Man." His current projects include the about to be released "J. Edgar" and the just released "Tower Heist."
Since this news broke earlier today, everyone (us included) have said who they would like to see host the Oscars. Names like Billy Crystal, Neil Patrick Harris, Hugh Jackman, Tina Fey and Conan O'Brien have been tossed around by fans. With Brian Grazer producing, I wouldn't be surprised to see Jim Carrey or Mike Myers have their names added to the list. According to Deadline.com, Grazer is hoping to get Eddie Murphy back. There is also a Twitter and Facebook campaign to get The Muppets to host, and it's gaining more and more attention by the hour.
I can't see the Oscar's actually having The Muppets host, but if this support continues to gain strength and the movie is a hit I wouldn't be surprised to see them participate in some form.
We'll keep you posted with Oscars news as it develops.
What say you?