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Movie director who made anti-gay remark apologizes, won't produce Oscars show

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:55 PM EST, Tue November 8, 2011
Director Brett Ratner resigned from producing the Academy Awards this year after making an anti-gay remark.
Director Brett Ratner resigned from producing the Academy Awards this year after making an anti-gay remark.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Brett Ratner has resigned as producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards show
  • In a statement Tuesday, Ratner says he apologizes "publicly and unreservedly"
  • Ratner made a demeaning remark during a Q&A session about his movie "Tower Heist"
  • "Rehearsing is for f*gs," New York Magazine's Vulture Blog quoted Ratner as saying

(CNN) -- Brett Ratner has resigned as a producer of this year's Academy Awards show for an anti-gay remark he made over the weekend, the movie director said Tuesday in an open letter to his 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," Ratner said in the letter, which was given to CNN by his representative, Allan Mayer. "To them, and to everyone I've hurt and offended, I'd like to apologize publicly and unreservedly."

Ratner met with the representatives of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation prior to announcing his resignation, GLAAD said in a news release Tuesday.

When asked during a question-and-answer session about his newly released action comedy, "Tower Heist," whether he rehearses with his actors before shooting a scene, Ratner replied, "Rehearsing is for f*gs," GLAAD said in its release, citing New York Magazine's Vulture blog.

"When we sat down with Brett today, he seemed very sincere in his desire to use this experience as a way to begin speaking out against anti-gay language in popular culture," said Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs and communications at GLAAD. "We believe his resignation is just the first step and will be announcing a series of concrete actions with Brett in coming days and weeks."

In his statement Tuesday, Ratner said "it pains me deeply that I may have hurt" his colleagues who "are members of the LGBT community."

"Having love in your heart doesn't count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted," Ratner said. "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."

Ratner said he had called Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to resign as the producer of the Academy Awards show.

"Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career," Ratner said. "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."

"Tower Heist," which stars Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, made $24.2 million on its first weekend.

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