John Candy was in anything but a sweet mood after an ad ran in the Canadian trade mag Playback — without his permission — announcing he was hosting this year’s Genie Awards.

In fact, the oversized actor/comedian was so unhappy, he has withdrawn as host of the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars; actor Leslie Nielsen will step in as a last-minute replacement for the Nov. 22 show.

What angered Candy?

The text of the ad, which stated: “To host the Genies, we got the biggest star we could find” in the headline, accompanied by an imposing photo of Candy holding a Genie statuette.

Ad emphasized Candy’s stature

The ad copy went on at length about the stature of the star. “We’ll get you a star so unbelievably, incredibly big you won’t believe your eyes!”

Academy of Canadian Television and Cinema topper Maria Topolovich said the ad was designed and placed by pubcaster CBC without the knowledge of the Academy or its producers. “This was quite horrible for us.”

CBC spokesperson Diane Kenyon said it was a simple oversight.

Candy’s contract specified he would have final approval on all promotional photos and the wrong photo was used in the ads.

“It was just a slip-up, she said.

“We’ve tried to reach him and he wouldn’t return our phone calls.”

Candy could not be reached for comment.

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