Eddie Murphy is out as host of the 2012 Academy Awards telecast. After a terse announcement that Brett Ratner would no longer be co-producing the Oscar ceremony with Don Mischer, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released another terse statement announcing Murphy's (not at all unexpected) departure. Ratner and Murphy worked together on Tower Heist, a box office disappointment that opened this past weekend.
As quoted in the Academy's press release, Academy president Tom Sherak said, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.”
Murphy, for his part, was officially quote as saying the following:
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.
Brett Ratner resigned (or was forced into doing so) after a series of public missteps, including saying at a Tower Heist q&a that “rehearsal is for fags,” and mentioning details of his alleged sex life with Olivia Munn and Lindsay Lohan. Now, the curious thing would have been for Murphy to remain on the show despite having used the word “fag” – and variations – a number of times in the past. Check out this YouTube video.
The Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, the telecast will be broadcast live on ABC. The Oscarcast will also be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.
Eddie Murphy photo: DreamWorks Studios