Eddie Murphy has dropped out as the host of the Oscars telecast, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced today (November 9). He’s quitting a day after his buddy, director Brett Ratner, stepped aside amid criticism over his use of an anti-gay slur.
Ratner, who also directs Murphy’s upcoming flick Tower Heist and hired the comedian for the Oscar job, caused a firestorm after he publicly used an anti-gay slur and then discussed his own sexual habits on Howard Stern’s radio show. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation led a strong objection to the director heading the Oscars, and when academy members and media also raised heavy criticism, the director resigned Tuesday morning.
Murphy backed his friend and walked off, leaving the Academy scrambling to find another host for the February 26 show. It would’ve been his first time hosting the Oscars. In the statement, the comedian said he understood and supported “each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers.”
“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,” he said.
Are you disappointed that Eddie’s out? Who should get the job now?
(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)