Director Brett Ratner apologizes for gay slur

AP News
Posted: Nov 07, 2011 9:22 PM
Director Brett Ratner apologizes for gay slur

Brett Ratner said Monday that he's sorry for using a gay slur during a question-and-answer session at a screening for his new film.

The 42-year-old filmmaker, who is set to produce next year's Academy Awards, issued a statement apologizing "for any offense my remarks caused."

Ratner used a pejorative term to describe gay men in response to a question asked at a screening of his latest movie, "Tower Heist."

"It was a dumb way of expressing myself," Ratner said in his statement. "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."

Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Monday that Ratner's remarks were "inappropriate" but the academy isn't planning to remove him from his Oscar-producing position.

"The bottom line is, this won't and can't happen again. It will not happen again," Sherak said. "The apology he gave I truly believe comes from his heart. ... This is about integrity and honoring the Academy Awards, but we all make mistakes and I believe he didn't mean it."

Believe Him
Katie Pavlich

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said Monday it wants to see more from both Ratner and the academy.

Herndon Graddick, GLAAD's senior director of programs, called the academy's response "insufficient."

"The Academy and Hollywood need to send a clear message that such slurs, used even once, have no place in mainstream popular culture or at the helm of the industry that helps create it," Graddick said.

"Tower Heist" opened Friday. It stars Eddie Murphy, who is set to host the 84th Academy Awards in February.