‘Tower Heist’ Director Brett Ratner Out as Oscars Producer After Gay Slur

ABC News’ Eileen Murphy and Michael S. James report:

Tower Heist director Brett Ratner has resigned as a producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards after coming under fire for using an anti-gay slur.

Ratner angered some audience members following a “Tower Heist” screening at Los Angeles’ Arclight Cinemas this weekend by using the anti-gay “F” word, according to New York magazine. After the screening, the director was asked by the moderator of a question-and-answer session whether he rehearses with his actors prior to shooting a scene.  Ratner responded, “Rehearsal? What’s that? Rehearsal is for f***.”

After the incident, Ratner issued an apology statement to TheWrap.com, saying, “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 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed Ratner’s resignation as Oscars producer in a prepared statement.

“He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself,” Academy president Tom Sherak said. “Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent.”

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