Oscar 2011: Brett Ratner Resigns as Show Producer

Brett Ratner resigned Tuesday night as producer of the 84th Academy Awards, to be telecast February 26, 2012, under pressure from various groups in and out the movie industry.

 

More than anything else, the resignation of Ratner, who’s notorious for his boorish and vulgar behavior, proves that words have meaning, that words matter.

 

The Hollywood Reporter’s estimable film editor Gregg Kilday states: “Ratner is now officially the most controversial Oscar show producer since the openly gay Allan Carr, who produced the roundly panned 61st Academy Awards in 1989, though at least Carr actually produced a show.

 

The two men share another odd connection, besides bad taste (and bad manners): Ratner now lives in Benedict Canyon in Hilhaven Lodge, the very home that Carr once owned and where Carr entertained Hollywood by throwing extravagant parties.

 

When Ratner, along with Don Mischer, was named producer of the Oscar kudocast back in August, he was reminded of the Carr connection, and replied, “I’d like to think Allan’s up there, having so much fun, talking about how Brett Ratner’s going to produce the Oscars.”

 

Carr, who rose to prominence as the producer of the hit Grease,” drew fire from the Hollywood establishment because the show he produced indulged in poorly mounted production numbers, like the extended opening in which Rob Lowe serenaded a Snow White-lookalike to the tune of “Proud Mary.” Many felt that Carr, who was flamboyantly gay, had turned the show into a campy extravaganza that cheapened the Oscars.

 

When the Hollywood establishment turned against him, he retreated to Hillhaven Lodge and lived as a recluse until his death in 1999.

 

Ratner created controversy for a juvenile remark in which he casually used the word “fags.” He then appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show and talked crudely about women.  It’s commonsensical knowledge that of the 40 million American viewers, women and gays make up large proportion of the audience.   Ratner, who wanted to shake up the Academy Awards, has now lost that opportunity.

 

The news that Brett Ratner is out as producer of the upcoming Oscar telecast sparked a slew of passionate responses around the Web—globally.  The Academy was both praised and criticized for the move, which comes on the heels of several offensive comments from the director, while many make quips at his expense.