In the latest twist in the ongoing drama surrounding the 84th Academy Awards, Eddie Murphy has dropped his plans to host the Oscar telecast following the resignation of producer Brett Ratner. Murphy had been brought on board by Ratner, who directed him in the current action-comedy Tower Heist — a move that seemed to be greeted with generally positive buzz both within Hollywood and among movie fans. But following Ratner’s departure amid controversy over his use of a gay slur as well as crude comments about his sex life, he has decided to step aside as well.
Murphy gave no clear reasons for his decision, saying in a statement, “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.”
Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Tom Sherak — who now needs to find both a new producer and a new host for the film industry’s most important event — said in a statement, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”