Eddie Murphy Out Of Oscars Hosting Gig
When it was announced that Brett Ratner would be backing out as producer of the 84th Academy Awards ceremony, many were left wondering if his choice of host — Eddie Murphy — would stay or go. Today, the answer came: Murphy is out, Academy President Tom Sherak announced in a statement.
Sherak said he supported Murphy's choice to withdraw. "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well," said Sherak. Murphy and Ratner also collaborated most recently on Tower Heist, which opened last weekend as the number two movie with $24 million.
Murphy showed no bitter feelings about being cornered into backing out — due to no fault of his own, given that it was Ratner's use of an anti-gay slur at a recent press conference that set things in motion. "First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party's decision with regard to a change of producers for this year's Academy Awards ceremony," Murphy said. "I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job."
Murphy has had a rocky history with the Oscars. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work in 2007's Dreamgirls and was widely expected to win, but he lost to Little Miss Sunshine's Alan Arkin. He reportedly left the venue immediately after Arkin's name was announced and did not stay to see co-star Jennifer Hudson receive her trophy — or any other of the night's winners, for that matter.
The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and televised live on ABC.