Although Academy Awards director Brett Ratner has built his reputation as a bad-boy director by making action pictures and spending his fair share of time on the party circuit, his most recent ad-libbed remarks at a q&a session following a Friday night screening of "Tower Heist" at the ArcLight Hollywood are picking up the kind of negative publicity he can't find a way to brag about.
New York Magazine's Vulture blog reported this weekend that when Ratner was asked if he rehearses scenes, he replied, "Rehearsing is for fags." Classy response, Mr. Ratner. Sure, q&a sessions should be casual, but not so casual that you let your homophobic comments out of the proverbial closet.
It doesn't help his case to note that he did a phone interview on "The Howard Stern Show" today and admitted that he lied last week when he boasted about having sex with Olivia Munn on "The Attack of the Show."
Ratner is now doing the requisite apology, though some bloggers are calling for him to be fired from the Oscar telecast, most notably Grantland's Mark Harris. Ratner gave his mea culpa to the Wrap in a statement: “I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself. 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.”
GLAAD, which decried his comments over the weekend, issued a response to his apology: “This apology is a good start, but we’re working with Ratner’s people for more action, to clearly send a message to Hollywood that the anti-gay slurs used by bullies and bigots have no place in the world of entertainment, or anywhere else.”
It all seems to add up to behavior that's unbecoming of someone entrusted with the most coveted night of the year for Hollywood. The Academy declined comment, so for now this doesn't have any impact on the Oscars. But the Oscars are still four months away.