During a post-'Tower Heist' Q&A session on Friday night in Los Angeles, director Brett Ratner said "rehearsing is for fags" when asked by an audience member if he rehearses scenes before filming. So, yeah, that's not good.
Ratner has since apologized for his comments in a statement to The Wrap:
Meanwhile, over at Grantland, Mark Harris is rallying for the Academy to relieve Ratner of his Oscar producing duties.
I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.
Grantland doesn't have a commenting system, but we do! And we are quite curious what you think about this situation. Keep in mind: if Ratner is fired, Eddie Murphy (who has his own controversial history with that particular slur from his comedy specials 'Delirious' and 'Raw') is probably gone. That shouldn't be a factor in a decision like this, but it kinda does -- which is also why it's very unlikely that Ratner will be fired.
I've had to listen to versions of every one of these mea-not-quite-culpas over the years and seriously, I'm no longer interested in patiently witnessing the slow arc of a public figure's learning curve. What I do care about is what the Academy does, which should be either to ask for and receive his resignation from the show or to drop him as the producer of a show that is supposed to represent the best the industry has to offer. There's not really a long, nuanced debate to be had about this. If he had used an equivalent racial or religious slur, the discussion would go something like, "You're fired." Apology or not. The same rule applies here. You don't get a mulligan on homophobia. Not in 2011.
So, you're in charge of the Oscars. (Congrats!) Knowing that you may lose Murphy if you fire Ratner, what do you do? Is his apology enough, or is Harris right in demanding that Ratner step down or be replaced? Fire away in the comments section below.
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