BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — Director Brett Ratner, who came under fire for using a gay slur after a Los Angeles screening of his film “Tower Heist,” resigned Tuesday as the producer of next year’s Oscar telecast.
Ratner issued an apology Monday for his use of the slur, saying, “It was a dumb way of expressing myself.”
“Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body,” he said. “But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.”
Ratner used the slur during a question-and-answer session that followed a Friday night screening of the film at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. He took further criticism Monday after doing a satellite radio interview with Howard Stern — covering a sometimes-raunchy array of topics.
Ratner issued a written statement today to some entertainment media outlets, saying his association with the Oscar show was “the proudest moment of my career,” but “it would be worse if my association with the show were to be a distraction from the Academy and the high ideals it represents.”
Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Ratner “did the right thing for the Academy and for himself” by resigning from the Oscar telecast.
“Words have meaning, and they have consequences,” Sherak said. “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.”