Thanks to this essay by Mark Harris at Grantland.com. I feel a lot less like a fuming hothead for suggesting earlier that Brett Ratner’s behavior shouldn’t be pardoned.
…at a Los Angeles Q&A after a screening of Tower Heist, the film’s director Brett Ratner dismissed a question about his process by saying, “Rehearsing is for fags.” Since Ratner has been signed to produce this year’s Oscars, I would say he has a problem. There are many public responses that can follow an incident like this: The Sincere Apology, The Twelve-Step Apology (“My intemperate remarks have led me to understand that I need to seek treatment for…”), the Non-Apology Apology (“I’m sorry if my choice of words offended…”), the Can’t-You-Take-A-Joke Apology (“All my gay friends know that I don’t use P.C. language…”) or the Sidestep Apology (“I didn’t mean anything homophobic, I was just using ‘fags’ to mean, you know, losers!”)
Id like to post all three terrific paragraphs, but you should click on over to Grantland to read the middle of Mark Harris’ argument. Here’s his closing statement:
I’ve had to listen to versions of every one of these mea-not-quite-culpas over the years and seriously, I’m no longer interested in patiently witnessing the slow arc of a public figure’s learning curve. What I do care about is what the Academy does, which should be either to ask for and receive his resignation from the show or to drop him as the producer of a show that is supposed to represent the best the industry has to offer. There’s not really a long, nuanced debate to be had about this. If he had used an equivalent racial or religious slur, the discussion would go something like, “You’re fired.” Apology or not. The same rule applies here. You don’t get a mulligan on homophobia. Not in 2011.