The Quick Implosion of the Ratner/Murphy Oscar Production

Well, that didn't last long.  I was actually looking forward to the Academy Awards after learning that director Brett Ratner would be producing it and that actor Eddie Murphy would be hosting it.  Life has a funny way of flipping on a dime.  Their movie Tower Heist didn't live up to hopes, and then Ratner had a terrible 48 hours that started with a weak joke that contained a juvenile gay slur and raunch-talk appearance on G4's Attack of the Show and Sirius XM's Howard Stern Show in which he apparently (and in vulgar fashion) lied about having a sexual relationship with Olivia Munn, among other embarrassing frat-boy comments. 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was not pleased with the negative publicity.  Ratner was supposed to bring a positive jolt to the upcoming Academy Awards after last year's critically-bashed ceremony. Whether he was fired or resigned, the bottomline is that Ratner will no longer be producing the telecast, the biggest awards show on the planet.  The Academy should have known the risk it was taking by hiring Ratner in the first place, but Ratner should also know better -- there's a fine line between being edgy and being stupid.  While some Political Correctness Police take things too far, there is no place for homophobic slurs or any other intentional use of words that any intelligent human being should know by now will upset or hurt others.  Certain words are obviously offensive, so why use them, even in a joking manner?  Ratner isn't a kid, he should be smarter than that.

Eddie Murphy soon announced that he was stepping down as host.  Was it a sign of support for Ratner or a sign of panic?  Murphy's recent appearances on the talk show circuit made it sound as if he hadn't done much preparation yet for the February 27 telecast.  (Nominees will be announced on January 24, 2012.)  There was no doubt that the show would have been a strong collaboration between Ratner and Murphy, so once Ratner left it did not surprise me that Murphy quickly followed him out the door.

I still think Murphy as host would have been fantastic.  At least I won't have to see my expectations dashed.  It would have been a shame if it turned out to be a dud.  Now we'll never know.

Hollywood mega-producer Brian Grazer will be stepping into Ratner's shoes.  We'll have to wait to see who will be the new host.  I still hope the production is creatively rejuvenated.  Maybe they should take my advice on how to improve the Academy Awards and my suggestions for some new award categories

Personally, I think if they really want to spice things up and make the Oscars phenomenal they should hired Quentin Tarantino to produce the show -- he's a huge movie buff, an excellent writer, and would definitely give everyone a production they wouldn't soon forget!

I'm still rooting for Eddie Murphy to prove his critics wrong and give us the great career comeback he deserves.

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