One day after Brett Ratner exited the Oscars broadcast amid a furor over a gay slur, comedian Eddie Murphy followed suit, announcing he’s off the show, Reuters reports. Murphy had been scheduled to host after being recruited by Ratner.
Murphy is quoted in The Hollywood Reporter saying: "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."
Ratner, who directed Murphy in the current feature film “Tower Heist,” announced he was giving up his role as one of the producers of the upcoming awards, as previously reported. The move came after Ratner received a torrent of criticism for saying “rehearsing is for fags” during a screening of “Tower Heist.”
The focus immediately shifted to Murphy, who was considered an unconventional selection for the hosting job, as reported earlier.
Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, issued a statement in response to Murphy’s announcement, saying: "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”