Brett Ratner quit! The Oscars are saved! But is Brett Ratner? And, actually, are the Oscars? Does Brett Ratner quitting his gig producing next year's Oscars ceremony, in the wake of saying some stupid things about Olivia Munn and "fags," really do anyone any good?
From Ratner's angle, he's saved himself the shame of being outright fired (though, according to Vulture, he was basically going to be forced to resign). And, by agreeing to meet with GLAAD to discuss, who knows, bad words or something, he's positioning himself as really a decent guy who just made a mistake. So everyone can stop being so mad at ol' Brett Ratner, because he issued a long sad letter to basically everybody and whether or not his apology is sincere it doesn't really matter. He's said his bit, he's done, he's out. It's probably a relief on all fronts! Now no one can blame him for a bad Oscars ceremony, after all.
For the Academy, now they can't blame Brett Ratner for a bad Oscars ceremony! Though, we suppose, they could always blame all this turnover and tumult if the show winds up being bad. Politically, they have shown unsurprising solidarity with the LGBTetc community and have said important things like "words do matter," which is an important thing to remember in this era of bullies and Katy Perry's "Ur So Gay" and what have you. The Academy may have done wrong in hiring Brett Ratner in the first place -- not because he's some known homophobe or anti-Olivia Munnist, but because he's something of a hack -- but they handled this situation the best way they could, asserting a strong stance and not caving.
For Eddie Murphy, who Ratner hired to host, well... Presumably the Academy won't fire him just because the guy who hired him screwed up. Though, Murphy was definitely Ratner's hire, so maybe he won't want to do the gig now that Ratner's out (the Vulture article insinuates as much). Or, whoever replaces Ratner as co-producer could want to scrap all the old plans and go with everything new. Could they bring in, say, Will Ferrell to replace him? Ellen? The glowing ghost of Bob Hope? It's possible! Though, we'd be surprised if they cut Murphy loose at this point. His hosting is definitely a curiosity that ought to bring in some eyeballs.
For everyone else, gays and Olivia Munn especially, we suppose you could call this a victory. There's always the danger of coming across too shrill and punitive when public verbal bungles like this happen, but, again, saying bad things like this ought to get you in trouble. Not like free speech violations in trouble, but losing a cushy awards show job in trouble? Yeah, definitely. And that's that.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.