Folllowing controversy over an anti-gay slur he used at a press conference for his newly opened film Tower Heist, Brett Ratner resigned Tuesday from producing the 84th Academy Awards telecast, reports. Ratner had made the comment that "rehearsal is for fags" — jokingly, he said, though he admitted that the joke was damaging and in bad taste.

Ratner alluded to remarks he receieved from colleagues condemning the joke in an open letter announcing his resignation from the high-profile gig. "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," Ratner wrote. "To them, and to everyone I’ve hurt and offended, I’d like to apologize publicly and unreservedly."

Ratner said he made the call early Tuesday morning to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak in order to begin a series of actions to undo any harm he caused. "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," Ratner wrote.

Sherak said Ratner's actions were appropriate. “He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself,” Sherak said in a statement. “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.”

The question of who will step in to replace Ratner, and whether Eddie Murphy (Ratner's pick) will stay on as host, remains unanswered.

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