Earlier today we learned that Tower Heist producer Brett Ratner withdrew from producing this year’s Academy Awards after making a gay slur during an interview. Now Shrek star Eddie Murphy quits Oscars. Murphy was lined up to host the Awards ceremony in February.
Ratner and Murphy are longtime collaborators and friends. Ratner directed Murphy in Rush Hour and produced the new movie Tower Heist, in which Murphy also starred. It seems that their relationship means so much to Murphy that he didn’t want to go through with the Oscars gig without Ratner, leading to Eddie Murphy quits Oscars.
A statement from Murphy, released this morning, reads, “First and foremost I want to say 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.”
Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak has responded to the news by stating, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”
Who will host the awards show now that Eddie Murphy quits Oscars? An announcement of a new host is expected to come in the next few days.