The decision to hire Brett Ratner as producer for the forthcoming Academy Awards next year looks to be backfiring on organisers after the 42 year-old was forced to apologise for using a gay slur at the screening of his latest film 'Tower Heist' on Friday night (November 4th 2011). To dig himself into a deeper hole, a subsequent apology on Howard Stern's radio show only caused further embarrassment as the conversation veered towards sex and he continued to allege and offend.
Ratner's official gaff, reports Reuters, occurred at a Q and A session that followed a preview screening of 'Tower Heist', at which he was asked, "What was rehearsal like?" Losing his cool, the director behind the 'Rush Hour' series and 'X-Men: The Last Stand' replied, "Rehearsal? What's that? Rehearsal's for fags". Appearing on the Stern show later that morning, Ratner continued to cause mischief, describing himself as "probably the best in the world" at cunnilingus and saying that he often sends women to his doctor to be checked for sexually-transmitted diseases "before I go all the way". He also claimed to have slept with Lindsay Lohan, but "this was before she was actually Lindsay Lohan. She was really young."
At some point during all this, Ratner had apologised to TheWrap.com, a statement saying, "I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself." However, though the Academy are officially standing behind him still, one long time member told the same website, "The Oscars are a brand, and this is tarnishing that brand."