Eddie Murphy Drops Out of Oscars

The Academy has to make some fast staffing decisions. Less than 24 hours after Oscars producer Brett Ratner stepped down, Eddie Murphy announced he will no longer host the awards ceremony. Ratner stepped down amid a storm of criticism over a Howard Stern interview in which he said, “Rehearsal is for fags.” Ratner is Murphy’s friend and the director of his latest film, Tower Heist. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak acknowledged Murphy’s departure, saying, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well.” The Academy has just over three months to fill the newly vacant positions, but on Wednesday a report surfaced in The Hollywood Reporter that J. Edgar producer Brian Grazer would fill Ratner’s abandoned post.