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Eddie Murphy dumps the Oscars

Just when it couldn't get any worse, it gets worse: Eddie Murphy just quit his gig as Oscar night host. This, of course, is a reaction to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences dumping his pal, Brett Ratner for the gay slur made over the weekend. 

Murphy's statement:  

 “First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”

Yeah, sure, of course this is a surprise -- though it was the first possbility that started rattling around everyone's brains the minute the Ratner exit was sealed.

Murphy was or certainly seemed to be a major coup for the academy and the fusty old Oscars -- even if he isn't exactly a spring chicken himself. Murphy was coming back to the stage! That was the headline and a big deal and exciting to fans and maye even nonfans.

Would Eddie still have his fastball? Would he make fun of that time he ditched the ceremony when he got passed over for "Dreamgirls"? And most of all, would he go on "Saturday Night Live" to promote his Oscar gig? That alone was going to be worth the price of admission for many people -- the prodigal Eddie returns to "SNL"!

Oh well. Now it's not to be. Bummer.

'Nother host will be announced soon I imagine. Billy Crystal doing anything next February? (He is now.) 

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