Academy Backs Oscarcast Producer Brett Ratner, But There Is No Room For Screwups

UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not take action after Brett Ratner made and then apologized for making an insensitive comment during a Q&A for his film Tower Heist. AMPAS president Tom Sherak told Deadline he is standing behind Ratner after the filmmaker apologized for saying that “rehearsal is for fags.”

But Sherak made it crystal clear that another indiscreet comment will not be tolerated. “His remarks were inappropriate,” Sherak told Deadline. “He said it best in his apology, that his comments were dumb and insensitive. When you think of our community, it went against all the beliefs of the creative community we represent. He knew it was wrong and he issued that response as quickly as any human being ever has. The bottom line is, this won’t and can’t happen again. It will not happen again. He apologized and we will move forward. How do I know this? I’ve known this man for a very long time. He has many friends who are members of the gay and lesbian community. The apology he gave I truly believe comes from his heart. If I didn’t believe it, I would do something about it. This is about integrity and honoring the Academy Awards, but we all make mistakes and I believe he didn’t mean it.”

EARLIER, 1:56 P.M. Director and Oscarcast producer Brett Ratner needs to conduct himself with more class in public appearances or risk screwing up his dream job of staging the upcoming Academy Awards by alienating Academy membership. Ratner, who got off on the right foot getting Eddie Murphy to host, has cast himself in an unflattering light with comments made while promoting Tower Heist. He has fielded questions with a lack of understanding that as Oscarcast producer, he is something of an ambassador for the Academy and a prestigious Oscar tradition. At a screening last weekend, Ratner made the insensitive observation to a room full of people that “rehearsing is for fags,” and today had to issue an apology. Beyond that, Ratner showed a lack of tact talking about his prolific sexual exploits on the cable TV program Attack of the Show and again this morning on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show. The latter was a particularly graphic discussion. I’ve known Ratner for years, and he has a quality of wanting to please, be it making his actors happy or delivering a dishy interview that a host like Stern is after. Ratner’s priority for the next few months should be to put on a good show, and stop embarrassing the Academy. I get the feeling Ratner now understands this but if he keeps shooting himself in the foot, it will be up to the AMPAS board to lay down the law.

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