Late Tuesday, Brett Ratner resigned from his position as Oscars producer. The move followed an outcry over a gay slur Ratner used at a Q&A for Tower Heist, which he directed, over the weekend. Now, proposed Oscars host Eddie Murphy, who stars in that film and had been handpicked by Ratner to liven up the awards ceremony, has also stepped down. Should Murphy have remained onboard?
Yes, this is a shame: Bummer. "I was looking forward to Murphy's stab at things," says Kristopher Tapley at HitFix. He got his start in stand-up, and it could have been great to see him return to the Oscars' version of it. But perhaps this is for the best. If Murphy had stuck around, "the traces of Ratner's controversy would have been left all over this show." That's "unfortunate but true."
"Oscars host Eddie Murphy follows Brett Ratner out the door"
... but not surprising: While bad for his career, Murphy's decision to opt out is predictable, says Katey Rich at Cinema Blend. He's "a notoriously press-shy actor who's done essentially nothing but vanity projects for the last decade or so (save Dreamgirls)." No doubt hesitant to sign on for the Oscars, he likely only did so because of his relationship with Ratner. With Ratner gone, "the respect and visibility Murphy would get from hosting the show probably isn't enough to keep him on board."
"Eddie Murphy quits Oscar hosting gig"
No, bring on Billy Crystal! "I say good riddance to both" Ratner and Murphy, says Alex Billington at Firstshowing.net. This has been an unprecedented wild ride, but at least it's been resolved quickly. Now, it's time to move on and find a replacement host. "Maybe it's Billy Crystal's chance." I'd much prefer his ready wit to Murphy's stale presence.
"Eddie Murphy steps down as Oscar host following Ratner's debacle"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- How to stop misogynists from terrorizing the world of gamers
Subscribe to the Week