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Oscar Producer Brett Ratner: “Rehearsing is for fags!”

I sincerely believe the Academy needs to fire Brett Ratner.

Last week, Brett Ratner told the world that yes, he did “bang” Olivia Munn, but it was “before she was Asian” (an admission he made not while under questioning by Howard Stern but as a guest on a basic cable talk show). Ratner grew no less shy this weekend, according to Twitter and several Vulture sources: After a screening of his film Tower Heist at L.A.’s Arclight Cinemas, the director came out for a Q&A, and when asked by the moderator whether he prepares and rehearses with his actors before shooting a scene, Ratner waved his hand dismissively and said, “Rehearsing is for fags.” Let’s hope Ratner revises that attitude prior to producing this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, or at least before he lands the next pitch meeting for his dream project, an adaptation of the Broadway musical Wicked. (Vulture)

Swift frantic backpedaling apology after the cut.

(via the TheWrap)

Brett Ratner: “I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.”

The director was answering questions from the audience after introducing the movie at the Arclight Hollywood cineplex.

“The audience was stunned,” one person who was present told TheWrap. At least one person walked out, upset over the reference.

Ratner’s gaffe could be damaging since he is the producer of this year’s Oscar telecast.

so: “Oops! Sorry! I wish I hadn’t shit on you! We’re good now, right?”

84 Comments on this Post

  1. Class act right here

    Awful director and now as I can see, a tasteless person.

  2. What a douche.

  3. …and tell him to take Eddie Murphy with him.

  4. Munn talked shit about Ratner first. His response is kind of funny in context.

  5. They shouldn’t have hired him to begin with.

  6. Is there a reason he hasn’t been fired yet?

  7. julian the emperor

    What a truly stupid comment…

    BUT to fire someone who makes an “unfortunate” comment is a bit harsh, don’t you think? We don’t want to endorse an attitude that allows for “berufsverbot”, now do we? That could have dire consequences: Just think of the Von Trier debacle in Cannes: Should LVT be exempt from producing movies as well? Clearly, no!

    If Ratner is an asshole, very well, he is being a very public asshole. Let him suffer in the spotlight.

  8. I’d be happy to help the “Fire Brett Ratner” campaign get started…

  9. Maybe if he’d some some rehearsing on Tower Heist, it wouldn’t be such a bomb

  10. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    julian the emperor, I didn’t say Ratner should be banned from ever working in Hollywood again.

    good example, though, bringing up Lars von Trier. Because it’s my understanding that his mouth has eliminated him from all future Oscar ceremonies? Am I wrong about that?

  11. scottferguson

    Lars von Trier was personally named as persona non grata for the 2011 Cannes festival after his comments.

    The sense was it was for this year only, and would not have anything to do with future Cannes presentations of his films.

    Von Trier more than any major director of the last 25 years is a creation of Cannes. Most of his films have premiered there, won prizes there. Melancholia may become the most honored film world wide of 2011.

    I am nearly certain he will be back.

  12. Nick Ray

    thank god Brett Ratner is not a fag
    http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/3818/bratner.jpg

  13. Are you kidding me? UGH, what an arse…

  14. scottferguson

    Per The Wrap, Ratner has apologized. And it wasn’t one of those measly “I am sorry if it offended anyone” non-apology apologies. He took responsibility for it.

    http://thewrap.com/movies/column-post/brett-ratner-apologizes-gay-slur-%E2%80%9Ctower-heist%E2%80%9D-screening-32548

  15. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    that’s right scottferguson. It was a stern rebuke from Cannes, and I can’t say it was unfair. I agree that it’s not a permanent ban.

    But I’m talking about the Academy. Von Trier can forget about the Oscars, this year, next year, any year, probably forever.

  16. I think it’s humorous that he calls himself a storyteller during his apology.

  17. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Thanks scottferguson, the apology is now part of the story, so I’ll update the post.

    I won’t update my feeling that an apology should not absolve him of any consequences.

  18. Mr_Glass_Jaw

    Maybe someone should tell this dipshit that without “fags” there would be no Oscars and he would be out of a job. Gross.

  19. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    He’s such an idiot. But the Academy also show again and again how out of touch they are. They simply don’t have the right people informing them on who is the right person for this job. I’d like to know whose dumb idea Franco and Hathaway was last year? And now this. I’m glad he apologized and I really hope he understands why he had to.

  20. Brett Ratner is a douchebag, an idiot, and an embarrassment to cinema. The fact that a tasteless buffoon like this makes millions of dollars off mindless crap, and whose ego and arrogance allows him to shoot his mouth off without any thought or consequence, is a joke and a shame. Spielberg made a mistake in giving this guy the money to get his film career started and I wish Ratner would crawl back to wherever it is he came from. Cinema, and the world itself, would be better off for it.

  21. Aside from how tasteless the comment is, the big irony is how much his films could benefit from rehearsals.

  22. We want to know all we can know about these people, then we get upset at their answers and demand they be fired from their jobs.

    If you demand that all people who work in showbiz be totally morally sound and free from prejudice then a lot of people would be losing their jobs. Just call him a homophobic narcissist and lets move on.

  23. haqyunus

    Lars Von Trier comment was different and in different context from Brett Ratner’s. This is not a valid comparison. LVT was trying to make a point and got lost in language. The group involved was never the victimized butt of the joke (unlike Ratner’s)

    Ratner, on the hand made a clear cut bad joke and I will be surprised if there aren’t any repercussions. It is an offensive statement and at a very public level.

  24. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    ^
    I don’t get to question whether or not a homophobic douchebag narcissist is the right choice to produce the Oscars?

    Ratner can say whatever he wants, but I should just be still, keep my opinion to myself and move on, yeah?

  25. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    again, Carson T

    I never said Ratner should be exiled from Hollywood and never work in motion pictures again.

    He’s free to keep making movies suitable for other douchebags who think that kind of talk is “humorous”.

    I’m saying some kinds of behavior reflect really badly on the image of institutions that want to maintain their dignity. I think an honorable institution should detach itself from ugly associations, as a way to make a statement that such behavior is unacceptable.

    Rick Perry is perfectly free to write “Niggerhead” on any rock he wants to. It just makes him a pisspoor choice for President, that’s all.

  26. Seisgrados

    And the future of the musical Wicked is in the hands of this douchebag! Isn’t it ironic that his next project is a Broadway musical and he hates fags?

  27. Rehearsal is for professionals, bigotry is for hacks.

  28. Never mind the fact that he used an offensive term (I’m not normally one to balk at such things), his attitude towards rehearsing is what concerns me more. Whether or not one says that rehearsing is for ‘fags’ or for ‘silly people’, it’s not a healthy attitude to have when you’re producing the Oscars.

    This talentless man has little business making films, never mind producing the event which is intended as the ultimate annual celebration of filmmaking. How many Oscar nominations have his films received? None.

  29. Let’s get Ratner and Murphy out of there, and get Hugh Jackman in (He was a really solid host)

  30. The other mike

    I am uncomfortable with the hate directed at Brett. Looks like this was the excuse you were all looking for to dump on him and by extension Eddie. What he said was not even referencing homosexuals. Louis Ck has talked about the word and is given a pass. Same as eminem. I guess as long as said person is approved by our cultural gatekeepers it’s ok. I’m rooting for Brett.

  31. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Louis Ck has talked about the word and is given a pass.

    oh, well then.
    I have not had time to study the decision by Supreme Court Justice Louis CK.

    “given a pass” by whom? Not by me.

    “Looks like this was the excuse you were all looking for to dump on him…”

    Right.. Ratner’s made us wait 15 years to find any reason to dump on him.

    ;-)

  32. julian the emperor

    No, a berufsverbot on The Oscars is still a berufsverbot, Ryan, no matter what you think of Ratner’s additional career opportunities inside or outside Hollywood.

    Also: LVT is not officially fired from future Oscar ceremonies, is he? There is no official ban on him, whereas a ban on Ratner would in effect be very public and very official.

    Also, Melancholia doesn’t exactly suffer a critical backlash right now, huh? 87 on metacritic…!

  33. I’m gay, and I, obviously, hate that word. Does Ratner realize that the Oscars is one of the gayest events of the year? That’s a generalization, of course, but I can’t even count how many of my homo brothers have Oscar parties every year. It’s like he’s invading my turf.

  34. @ The other mike

    Whether or not one is referring to gay people when using the word ‘fag’ doesn’t matter. It’s offensive nonetheless. If I called Brett Ratner a retard, it’s be offensive regardless of the fact that he is neither physically nor mentally handicapped.

  35. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Melancholia doesn’t exactly suffer a critical backlash right now, huh? 87 on metacritic…!

    I don’t understand you at all, julian the emperor. Triumph of the Will would have a killer score on Metacritic. That doesn’t mean I think Leni Riefenstahl should produce the Oscars (although… whoa.) It doesn’t mean I’m upset confused about why the Academy never gave Riefenstahl her long overdue Thalberg Humanitarian Award.

    The work is the work, the man is the man, the words out of the man’s mouth cannot go unremarked just because a man makes brilliant movies. (and here’s where I regret ever naming Von Trier and Ratner on the same page, the same day, in the same universe.)

    No, the Academy didn’t issue an official statement to announce that Von Trier’s Oscar hopes are herewith fucked in perpetuity. But you’re silly if you think he will not suffer those consequences.

    And I think some consequences are alright. – persona non grata at Cannes for a year? I’m fine with that. Ratner released from his Oscar-producing job? yes, please. He’s an embarrassment and he’s the wrong person to lead the Academy in a more progressive direction.

    Don’t make me look up the definition for berufversbot.

  36. I totally agree that you have a right to feel something about this; I feel something about this. I don’t like him for saying it, incredibly stupid thing to say. It is hateful and derogatory and should be treated as such.

    What I’m saying is that the press talks to him because they are expecting stuff like this. They know Ratner is gonna say something stupid. Waving cameras and microphones in the face of someone like Brett Ratner is like buying a drink for an alcoholic.

    People say and do stupid stuff in Hollywood all the time. It’s a disease. For some reason we feel like the Oscars should be better than that, should put people in charge who are above the bull crap. The truth of the matter is that they are right in the middle of it and they always have been. The Kodak Theatre is not the Cathedral of Los Angeles, these people are not infallible. If you want to demand the guy’s job, go for it, but I guarantee you that the person who replaces him is no greater, either publicly or privately.

    On a side note, Ratner is 98% responsible for his actions, they are his words that are coming out of his mouth; but the other 2% falls on the rest of the entertainment industry for allowing the word “fag” to be dropped so often without any thought to the hate and prejudice that comes from it.

  37. I prefer last years cast & crew, for real.

    Fire his ass !

  38. As a straight male I can honestly say that I agree with you 100% Ryan. We haven’t always agreed on things (most notably Hurt Locker and Social Network) but Ratner is an idiot and should never have been hired in the first place. If he is allowed to keep his position it’s a disgrace to everyone who truly loves film.

  39. julian the emperor

    Ryan: you are, as ever, readily capable of taking a discussion in curious directions. That is both a curse and a blessing. You are never boring or predictable (well, yes, if somehow unpredictability is a predictable trait?)

    I was specifically referring to your own remarks, so there’s no need to mystify my motives.

    Well, I guess I can conclude this from your remarks: critics and AMPAS members definitely don’t think alike. The first group is more than likely to continually embrace LVT no matter what BS he chooses to put forth, whereas he is a persona non grata inside AMPAS circles. Right?

    You might have a point there, actually. But how is that? Indulge me with your insight on this matter, I’m curious! (no hint of irony at all, you know more about this than I do…) Are critics just in essence a more intellectually reflective bunch of people or what?

    I think I agree with you in most cases, but political correctness is a mixed blessing at best. This discussion proves it. To fire a man because of a single utterance (most likely the result of a pre-conscious slip of the tongue?) is a dramatic move. I’m sure you could find a reason to get rid of almost anyone on that ground.

    Also, I will promise you not to use the term “berufsverbot” for the rest of this Oscar season, so I will spare you the trouble of looking it up…;)

  40. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    On a side note, Ratner is 98% responsible for his actions, they are his words that are coming out of his mouth; but the other 2% falls on the rest of the entertainment industry for allowing the word “fag” to be dropped so often without any thought to the hate and prejudice that comes from it.

    Thanks for that well-considered response. I agree with your last line 100%.

    The entertainment is too lax about casual homophobia, and their complacency makes them complicit. Right here, right now, the industry has a chance to stand up and say: “Enough.”

    That’s what I’m asking. That’s what I’m hoping.

    Letting this pass with no repercussions whatsoever will only validate what Ratner said.

    It’ll keep happening until people in power put a stop to it.

  41. This is what it comes down to. The term “fag” carries a negative connotation. Whether you are using it in a straight up derogatory sense, or you think gay or fag is a synonym for stupid, it offends people. It offends gay people. It offends people that support gay people and have gay family members and friends. It’s also in incredibly bad taste because kids are still killing themselves because they get called fag every day at school. We don’t need the producer of one the most televised events of the year to throw it around to frivolously.

    *steps off his soap box*

  42. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Well, I guess I can conclude this from your remarks: critics and AMPAS members definitely don’t think alike. The first group is more than likely to continually embrace LVT no matter what BS he chooses to put forth, whereas he is a persona non grata inside AMPAS circles. Right?

    yes, you have dug exactly what I meant to say out of the mess I made of saying it.

    Are critics just in essence a more intellectually reflective bunch of people or what?

    That’s a rhetorical question, right?

    nah, I’ll go look up “berufsverbot” for my Word of the Day.

    If Ratner learns nothing today, at least I will.

  43. haqyunus

    @Ryan Adams.

    I don’t get to question whether or not a homophobic douchebag narcissist is the right choice to produce the Oscars?

    Ratner can say whatever he wants, but I should just be still, keep my opinion to myself and move on, yeah?

    I am confused by your response. I was saying the same thing as you (at least I think so) that Ratner should be let go as a producer. Did you took it the other way?

    I was just trying to say that Ratner incident is different from Von Trier’s and the former’s is more offensive.

    And yes, definitely you can have your opinion and I mine. No doubt on that :)

  44. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    haqyunus,
    use this html enclosure: <
    instead of this one: [

  45. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    haqyunus,
    yes, looks like I misunderstood you. sorry!

    ;)

  46. This is utterly tasteless and shameful, and I’d be worried if the Academy doesn’t take any action. By hiring him as a Director of the show, Ratner becomes a representative of the Academy. By allowing him to stay on the job, they would be making an implicit statement. Mainly, that they condone such behaviour.

    I’m gonna say let’s start an online petition (facebook, allout, etc.) and start calling the Academy phones until they take action. This is unacceptable at this day and age.

  47. julian the emperor

    “On a side note, Ratner is 98% responsible for his actions, they are his words that are coming out of his mouth; but the other 2% falls on the rest of the entertainment industry for allowing the word “fag” to be dropped so often without any thought to the hate and prejudice that comes from it.”

    Very true, CarsonT.

  48. Brett Ratner is a hack. Probably one of the biggest ones working in Hollywood today. This guy should have just stuck to directing music videos. I can’t fathom why the Academy would allow this bum to produce the Oscar telecast? If he gets axed for describing rehearsal as a large burning pile of sticks, so be it. Besides, his cast would probably benefit from some rehearsal, as damn near all of his films suck.

  49. therealmike

    There wasn´t one single reason for the academy to hire Ratner and Murphy in the first place. But now they have one good reason to fire one of them. I think Ratner should be fired because only stupid people say something like that. Did he seriously think this would be an cool answer?! I don´t care if he used an offensive word. But that he uses it in public eventhough he will be directing one of the biggest events on television, shows us how dumb and unqualified he is.

    “Tower Heist” didn´t do too well at the box office. So why Murphy as a host? He clearly lost his mojo and his movies don´t attract people anymore.

  50. “berufsverbot”

    Ok, I’ll play along. My guess, without using google is that “verbot” means “forbid”? but as long as you don’t forbid people (you don’t, right?) I’d say “ban”. But you use it as a noun, so I suppose the “berufs” part which I have no clue what it means makes it a noun? or maybe not and it’s already a noun. My conclusion looking at the context is that “berufsverbot” means something like “blacklist”?

    Wow, I can get really lost in tangents. My initial intention was to ask if he has apologised for claiming to be a storyteller, but someone beat me to it.

  51. therealmike

    @Iggy

    I had to laugh at the “storyteller”-thing, too. Is this real life?!

    I´m German and I don´t really know how to translate “Berufsverbot” in one word. It means that you´re not allowed to work or as google says it “professional disqualification” which actually nails it in this case.

  52. Joao Mattos

    I will surf Lars Von Trier tide with enthusiasm. Von Trier is a “child of Cannes”, like no one in recent memory, someone that have to thank the festival for the big visibility his work achieved all over the world. With the exception of “The Boss of It All” (Berlin showed the movie), all, all of his long-features premiered internationally in Cannes, in fact, mostly had their world premiere (I guess one or two from the ones made in Denmark opens there before Cannes).

    This is pure delirious, pure wishful thinking by me, but I have the feeling that yes, Von Trier, will be redeemed by Cannes people, and in a big, big way. And how? Not in a near future, but someday I bet they will invited him to be… president of the jury for the oficial competition. Mark my words. And maybe then Von Trier – if he say yes to the call – will back up from his decision to never again give an interview.

    Or he will become – as far as I know – the firs jury presient of a huge international film event to refuse to deal with the press.

  53. Had he said, “rehearsal is for coons/winkies/kykes/ragheads/pakis/nazis/etc”, he’d be lucky to get out of his parking space alive; but using “fags” is OK? It’s not OK – it’s the same thing. Is there any other corporate workplace that would tolerate a public remark like this?

    The idea that he prefers half-cocked to well-rehearsed and his obvious lack of balls to make a full wholehearted apology pretty much make him an ethical eunuch, in my book.

  54. Anyone disgusted about this, call The Academy to let them know your thoughts: (310) 247-3000

    They will take and appreciate your call.

  55. “Words are things. You must be careful about the words you use and the words you allow to be used in your home. You must be careful about calling people out of their names—using racial pejoratives, sexual pejoratives. Someday we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I believe they are things. They get on the walls, they get in your wallpaper, in your carpet, in your clothes and finally into you.” Maya Angelou

  56. @therealmike

    Thanks, my knowledge of German is clearly very limited. It was funny to play, though.

  57. “Von Trier can forget about the Oscars, this year, next year, any year, probably forever.”

    Can you imagine if he would actually win? And then heaven forbid, go on one of his I Heart Hitler tangents? Kirsten Dunst has every right to punk LVT’s ass if she doesn’t get nominated.

  58. daveylow

    I thought it was a mistake for Ratner to be doing this even before he made his awful comment. This show is probably going to stink.

  59. Im surprised there is a big uproar over this, eddie murphy said it plenty of times, where is the hate against him? He is the host

  60. FrankieJ

    The first idiot to compare Von Trier in ANY way to Ratner obviously could not make a clear argument of defense and had to resort to bringing up an out of context diatribe (and LVT is known for his lunacy). Von trier is a genius. Ratner is barely respectable. As filmmakers.

    Personally I think Ratner should be fired but not because of his comment. Because he’s not very good.

  61. Ratner’s comment is beyond disgusting, but seriously, why are we bringing up the idea that Murphy should be fired from being host? It’s not like he had any part in this.

    @Jones: I’m sorry, but that sounds like spam. No way am I going to call someone whose number I found on the comment section of a blog.

  62. Watermelons

    “Can you imagine if he would actually win? And then heaven forbid, go on one of his I Heart Hitler tangents? ”

    It is unlikely that Von Trier would show up to the Oscars. He has a fear of flying and has never traveled to the United States. I guess they could Skype him in if he felt social.

  63. m1: well, if you don’t believe me, check out this page: http://www.oscars.org/contact/index.html
    You’ll see the telephone number I posted right there. Maybe I was mistaken but I felt people should know there’s a phone number they can call to complain. I spoke with two people this afternoon. A nice lady from the Communication division actually listened to me and appreciated the call. If more people call, perhaps we can add pressure. If we don’t let them know directly how do we feel about this, the whole complaining will get lost in the comment section of the blogs.

  64. @Jones: The number actually exists? Whoops. Sorry about that. I didn’t realize.

  65. I knew there was something about this guy, that I didn’t like. But now I know, He’s a douche bag! I hope he gets fired, seriously. What a moron!

  66. “Ratner’s comment is beyond disgusting, but seriously, why are we bringing up the idea that Murphy should be fired from being host? It’s not like he had any part in this.”

    Murphy is an infamous homophobe, in his 80s act he attacked gays constantly calling them fags many times

  67. Whose brilliant idea in AMPAS was this to hire Ratner in the first place? Whoever signed off on that should be fired, or made to watch Tower Heist 24/7/730. As in 2 years straight :o . That’s like NBC renewing Chuck for a 5th season and its latest new episode on Friday getting beat out by a 4-year-old NCIS rerun on USA Network in total viewers.

    Oscargeddon; the TRUE Carmageddon, as in apocalypse, disaster, the show that pushes the Academy down the slippery slope into irrelevance.

  68. julian the emperor

    HA! I’ve obviously been entertaining some of you guys with this “berufsverbot”:)

    I think “professional disqualification” covers it about right. My mistake to think that this German noun is well-known in America as well…it’s a borrowed phrase often alluded to in Danish and other European languages I’m certain, referring to the political situation in Germany in the 1970s where the authorities excluded teachers with strong left wing credentials from teaching in schools and at universities as a cowardly reaction towards the impending threat of the Rote Arme Fraktion, an extremist left wing group killing and kidnapping German CEO’s etc.
    Berufsverbot therefore seeped into the common language referring to any situation of “professional disqualification” that involves some kind of political (often hypocritical) reasoning.

  69. @ Steve50: If he had said “rehearsal is for nazis” I’m pretty sure he would have been fine.

  70. Rufussondheim

    The most shocking thing about this thread is learning that Brett Ratner is going to direct Wicked.

    Unless you are a twelve year old, Wicked is the biggest piece of crap to become a Blockbuster on Broadway. The music is terrible. TERRIBLE. I will never comprehend how it got made into a show, how Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenowith signed on to do it, how it got funding.

    Every time I see Broadway receipts and see it still selling out shows, I am reminded how far outside of the mainstream I am.

  71. The writer of Wicked is gay. Discuss.

  72. And this person with a lack of personality is producing the Oscars this year? What is he going to make out of it? The MTV Awards with Beyonce presenting best picture?! I think this is an insult to everybody who’s watching the Oscars and the Academy should finally wake up!

  73. Personally, BR’s comment is disgusting and inexcusable but is it just me that thinks that Ratner may have deliberately made that comment?

    Kind of to test the waters and see how un-PC the show can be with Eddie Murphy as the host in the name of humor or am I just being to cynical?

    As for Tom’s Sherak (Academy Prez), his defense “… Ratner has many gay friends…” could be taken straight from the racist handbook

  74. Good for you, Ryan! I totally agree with you!

  75. If the BOG of the Academy had guts and insight they would recognize that Tom Sherak is not very competent and a terrible leader of AMPAS. He has all sorts of misguided notions that seek to make the Academy Awards “relevant,” and he pursues pathetic strategies toward that end. How anyone could have included Brett Ratner on a short list of potential producers is astonishing. His track record is one of appalling mediocrity. If he cannot produce a creditable film, how can he produce an awards program that entertains?

    Sherak’s selection of Dawn Hudson is a case in point. Her background in indie films was not a compelling qualification to warrant her selection. She purportedly has been quoted as wanting to broaden AMPAS membership, and it appears that people very new to the industry are being invited in. I suspect the BOG will tire of her within a year or so and she will be gone, leaving behind a heap of damage.

    Sherak’s poor decisions are racking up. He is failing the Board and the Academy and film lovers everywhere.

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