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Eddie Murphy drops out of Oscars a day after Brett Ratner


amny Credit: Eddie Murphy at the premiere of "Tower Heist" last month/Getty

Funnyman Eddie Murphy dropped out of his Oscars hosting gig Wednesday, a day after producer Brett Ratner left the show in the wake of his use of a homophobic slur.

"I completely understand and support each party's decision with regard to a change of producers for this year's Academy Awards ceremony," Murphy said.

"I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show ... but I'm sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job," he said.

Added Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well."

Murphy, 50, signed on in September to host the 84th annual Oscars and was reportedly Ratner's first choice.

On Tuesday Ratner resigned from the high-profile job as Oscar producer in the face of an industry firestorm over his answer to a question at a screening of his new comedy, "Tower Heist," which Murphy stars in. Ratner was asked about using rehearsals ahead of a film shoot, and he replied "rehearsing is for f---."

He later apologized, but gay rights groups and some members of the academy took issue with his use of the slur.

Ratner also gave an interview on Monday on shock jock Howard Stern's radio show in which he spoke in graphic detail about his sex life, and his comments added fuel to the fire around him.

"Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable," Sherak said Tuesday.

(with Reuters)

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