BEVERLY HILLS (CBS) — Eddie Murphy has exited as the host of the 2012 Academy Awards Ceremony.
Tom Sherak, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, made the announcement Wednesday.
“I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” said Sherak.
Murphy’s decision to exit as host of the annual awards show comes after Director Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the Oscars Tuesday. Ratner came under fire after he used a gay slur Friday at a Los Angeles screening of his film, “Tower Heist” in which Murphy also stars.
Ratner issued an apology Monday for his use of the slur, saying, “It was a dumb way of expressing myself.”
Murphy commented, “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.”
Sherak, 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.”
Murphy was named as host of the Oscars in September. No new host or producer has been named.
But as KNX 1070′s Ed Mertz reports, fans at the Kodak Theatre already have their own favorites in mind to replace Murphy.
“Halle Berry, because she’s beautiful and attractive,” said one man.
And while some fans lobbied fir names of former hosts such as Whoopi Goldberg and Jon Stewart, others suggested this might be as good a time as any to take a risk on an unknown host.
The Academy Awards will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 on ABC.