"Tower Heist" director Brett Ratner bowed out of Oscars producing duties in 2011 after blurting out a homophobic slur
Brett Ratner — who bowed out of producing last year's Oscars ceremony after blurting out a homophobic slur at a screening of his movie "Tower Heist" — will be honored by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on March 16 with the organization's Ally Award.
Ratner will receive the honor at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, which will also see Anderson Cooper receive the Vito Russell Award.
During the ceremony, GLAAD will also premiere the "Coming Out for Equality" public-service announcement campaign directed by Ratner.
“I have long been a supporter of equal rights for everyone," Ratner said of the campaign and award. "So, when [GLAAD president] Herndon [Graddick] and the folks at GLAAD asked me to partner with them on this PSA campaign, I jumped at the opportunity. I have always been an admirer of GLAAD. They do meaningful and effective work in the fight to secure equality for everyone and I am very humbled that they are honoring me with this Ally Award.”
Ratner angered some attendees at a November 2011 screening of "Tower Heist" at the Arclight Theatre in Hollywood when, asked what rehearsals for the film were like, he replied, "Rehearsal’s for fags."
That remark, coupled with a raunchy interview that Ratner gave to Howard Stern — during which he talked about his sex life in graphic detail — prompted Ratner to resign as the producer for the 2012 Oscars. ("Tower Heist" star Eddie Murphy, whom Ratner had brought aboard to host the ceremony, also backed out following Ratner's resignation.)
Ratner apologized for the slur, admitting exclusively to TheWrap that it was "a dumb way of expressing myself."
“I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself," Ratner said. "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.”
Last year, Ratner also teamed with director Tom Ford and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network for a public-service announcement addressing the use of anti-gay language among teens, as part of that organization's "Think Before You Speak" campaign.