By Jon Barrett
Updated November 08, 2011 at 12:00 PM EST

In the wake of Brett Ratner’s decision Tuesday afternoon to step down as producer of the Academy Awards, the gay media watchdog group GLAAD announced that it’s working with Ratner “to convene public discussions featuring leaders in the entertainment industry about promoting fair and accurate inclusions of LGBT people and stories.”

The meetings, the first of which will take place “in coming weeks,” will also address anti-gay jokes and slurs in film and TV and their effect on popular culture.

“Hollywood has the power and responsibility to grow acceptance of all communities,” GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Brett and the industry in promoting positive, culture-changing images of our community and sending a message that such slurs, used to belittle gay and lesbian youth and adults every day, have no place in mainstream popular culture or the industry that creates it.

Ratner’s announcement followed controversy over his use of an anti-gay slur at a screening of his movie Tower Heist and comments he made about his sex life on The Howard Stern Show.

In an open letter released Tuesday, Ratner called his comments “stupid” and apologized to “everyone I’ve hurt and offended.” He also thanked GLAAD for “engaging him in dialogue” and that “I’ll be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I canboth professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve foolishly perpetuated.”

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