In a move that has turned an embarrassment into a disaster, Eddie Murphy has quit as host of next year’s Oscars ceremony a day after the show’s producer, director Brett “rehearsal’s for fags” Ratner, stood down after a series of controversial slurs.
This leaves the Oscars, Hollywood’s most prestigious stage-managed show — an annual round of back-slapping with an audience of over 40 million viewers in the US and hundreds of millions worldwide — without a producer or a host just four months before the event.
In my blog post yesterday I wrote:
Questions have subsequently been raised about whether Eddie Murphy, Ratner’s choice for ceremony host, will remain in the job, but rest assured that Murphy isn’t going anywhere. For one thing, the Academy wouldn’t want to look like it made two bad decisions; for another, Murphy would not be keen to pass up a gig that could boost his latest — and almost definitely not last — attempt at a career comeback.
Turns out I was wrong.
Following Ratner’s footsteps and quitting the Oscars is yet another example of Murphy’s impetuous and foolish decision-making. It heralds the latest in a long line of noggin’ scratching occurrences that have riddled his career with controversies ranging from being caught in a car with a transvestite prostitute in 1997 to storming out of the Kodak Theatre ten years later after failing to win an Oscar. Not to mention signing onto an almost incomprehensible range of duds including Doctor Dolittle, Holy Man, Life, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Daddy Day Care, The Haunted Mansion and Imagine That.
No doubt Murphy, who stars in Ratner’s latest film Tower Heist, is buddies with the gaffe-making director. Presumably he did not agree with the decision for Ratner (who no doubt was pushed) to step down after a homophobic slur tipped him off the precipice. Remember that Murphy too is no stranger to gay jokes. Here’s Murphy’s opening bit from his famous 1983 stand-up show Delirious:
When I do my stand-up I got rules ‘n’ shit. Straight up: faggots aren’t allowed to look at my ass while I’m on stage. That’s why I keep moving while I’m up here. If you don’t know where the faggot section is you gotta keep moving.
Tom Sherak, president of the Academy, said: “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”