In what could be the first of many calls for Brett Ratner's head, Oscars columnist Mark Harris wrote a post on Monday calling for the Academy to fire the producer of the show's 84th show.
While the Academy issued a statement on Monday supporting Ratner a day after he publicly used a homophobic slur, Harris, a columnist for Entertainment Weekly, contributing editor at New York magazine and Oscar columnist for Grantland — ESPN’s sports-cum-pop culture vanity project — wants Ratner out. Now.
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In a post titled, “Why The Academy Should Fire Brett Ratner,” Harris wrote that the Academy should either “ask for and receive his resignation from the show" or "drop him as the producer of a show that is supposed to represent the best the industry has to offer.”
“There’s not really a long, nuanced debate to be had about this. If he had used an equivalent racial or religious slur, the discussion would go something like, “You’re fired.” Apology or not. The same rule applies here. You don’t get a mulligan on homophobia. Not in 2011.”
What left Harris so incensed? Comments Ratner made during a question and answer session after a screening of his new movie, ‘Tower Heist.” When asked about rehearsing, Ratner said “rehearsing is for fags.”
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Harris, who is married to Oscar-nominated and Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, rejected Ratner’s attempt at an apology and instead turned his attention to the Academy’s response.
Harris and Kushner were the first same-sex couple to be featured in the New York Times’ Vows column in 2003, and later married in 2008.
While thus far the Academy has chastised but supported Ratner, it remains to be seen if that backing will continue given the ire of some members.