BREAKING NEWS: Eddie Murphy Drops Out Of Oscars Telecast

Source: Michael Cieply | The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — Eddie Murphy is dropping out as the host of the Oscars telecast, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the show’s producer Brett Ratner stepped aside amid a storm of criticism over his use of an anti-gay slur over the weekend.

The hasty departures represented an embarrassing collapse of the Academy’s plans for the Oscar presentation and left it with just over three months to fill key roles for one of the most elaborately staged television shows of the year.

Mr. Ratner, who was named the Oscar co-producer on Aug. 4, resigned on Tuesday morning because of the furor over anti-gay slur and a subsequent, salacious discussion of his own sexual habits on Howard Stern’s radio program on Sirius XM Radio show.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation strongly objected to the derisive remark about gays, and a flood of objections by academy members and media commentators quickly made clear that the Academy’s Feb. 26 Oscar show on ABC, if Mr. Rattner remained in charge, was going to be as much about Mr. Rattner as the movies.

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