Hollywood A-list director Brett Ratner has resigned as producer of next year’s Academy Awards after he used a gay slur while promoting his new film.
After a screening of his movie Tower Heist, Ratner (42) was asked if he rehearsed his cast while making the film.
“Rehearsal? What’s that? Rehearsal’s for fags,” he replied.
Following a media storm about his comment, Ratner apologised and announced his resignation in an open letter to the entertainment industry.
“As difficult as the last few days have been for me, they cannot compare to the experience of any young man or woman who has been the target of offensive slurs or derogatory comments,” said the director.
“And they pale in comparison to what any gay, lesbian, or transgender individual must deal with as they confront the many inequalities that continue to plague our world.
“So many artists and craftspeople in our business are members of the LGBT community, and it pains me deeply that I may have hurt them. I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter.”
He went on to add: “Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted… 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 is best-known for directing the Rush Hour film series, Red Dragon and X-Men: The Last Stand as well as producing the TV series Prison Break.
Academy President Tom Sherak said that Ratner’s resignation was “the right thing” for him to have done.
“Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent.”