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November 8, 2011 7:21 PM
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Brett Ratner Resigns, Writes Open Letter of Apology

Brett Ratner.
Brett Ratner has resigned as producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards. Academy President Tom Sherak accepted Ratner's letter of resignation.

"He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself," 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."

Here's Ratner's open letter on the matter.

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last few days, I’ve gotten a well-deserved earful from many of the people I admire most in this industry expressing their outrage and disappointment over the hurtful and stupid things I said in a number of recent media appearances. To them, and to everyone I’ve hurt and offended, I’d like to apologize publicly and unreservedly.

As difficult as the last few days have been for me, they cannot compare to the experience of any young man or woman who has been the target of offensive slurs or derogatory comments. And they pale in comparison to what any gay, lesbian, or transgender individual must deal with as they confront the many inequalities that continue to plague our world.

So many artists and craftspeople in our business are members of the LGBT community, and it pains me deeply that I may have hurt them. I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter. Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted. With this in mind, and to all those who understandably feel that apologies are not enough, please know that I will be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve so foolishly perpetuated.

As a first step, I called Tom Sherak this morning and resigned as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards telecast. Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career. But as painful as this may be for me, it would be worse if my association with the show were to be a distraction from the Academy and the high ideals it represents.

I am grateful to GLAAD for engaging me in a dialogue about what we can do together to increase awareness of the important and troubling issues this episode has raised and I look forward to working with them. I am incredibly lucky to have a career in this business that I love with all of my heart and to be able to work alongside so many of my heroes. I deeply regret my actions and I am determined to learn from this experience.

Sincerely, Brett Ratner

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3 Comments

  • jingmei | November 10, 2011 1:36 AMReply

    Because they are famous people, they speak publicly more than common people, so they are supposed to watch their mouths cautiously for sure. In other words it's the price they have to pay for their being celebrities.

  • Steven Nash | November 9, 2011 10:22 AMReply

    Dawn, I think you make some excellent points. How can I be against censorship and be highly judgmental when a good person and a great talent makes an explicit racial type slur in a public appearance in front of media? Where do we draw the line and who gets to be the arbiter? In this era of instant worldwide communication, we all could get in "trouble" for saying or doing something that is interpreted as bad. However, I was at the event, and on a personal level Brett's comment was truly disturbing.

  • DawnEverettt | November 9, 2011 5:12 AMReply

    Why does the media wait for movie people to slip up? It's all so negative. We all say things we don't mean and regret, but we don't lose our jobs over it or become enemies of the press and national news items. Hollywood people are not better or more intellent or anything else different than us normal folk and yet they seem to be treated as if they are wiser and express the opinions of the total American population. They are not elected representatives of the country. It's sad. What have we become? Interview me tons of times and I'll say something stupid eventually. It's bound to happen. Is Ratner an idiot for saying those things? Yes. Should he deserve the death penalty? No. We are better than that.