Eddie Murphy out as Oscar host

By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY

It's official. We have no Oscar host.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just announced that Eddie Murphy has withdrawn from the show.

"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," Murphy said.

Said Academy president Tom Sherak: "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well."

On Wednesday, Brett Ratner stepped down as producer of the show.

In addition, GLAAD has announced that it is working with Ratner to plan public discussions with showbiz leaders about promoting fair and accurate inclusions of LGBT people and stories.

GLAAD's Herndon Graddick sat down with Ratner on Tuesday and says the director "seemed very sincere in his desire to use this experience as a way to begin speaking out against anti-gay language in popular culture."

In his lengthy letter to the industry, Ratner said he had "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."

Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein isn't surprised by the Ratner news and wrote Tuesday that the Academy shouldn't have been surprised, either.

"It's hardly a news flash that Ratner is a crass hustler who's spent his entire career in a Sammy Glick-like rush to get ahead, often behaving with all of the grace and elan of a character out of Entourage. Ratner is loyal to his friends and a big contributor to charity, but he often acts like an over-entitled bar-mitzvah boy, running amok at his after-party."


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