Unable to fathom an Oscars without the guiding hand of Brett Ratner—like so many of us on this ashen afternoon—prospective host Eddie Murphy has once more followed the lead of his Tower Heist director and quit, presumably joining Ratner on his new quest to bring healing to the gay community. Upon his departure, Academy president Tom Sherak released a not-sarcastic statement saying, “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner,” offering implicit understanding that there is probably no way that Eddie Murphy can expect to be as edgy as he hoped to be without Ratner’s production team scripting all of his lines, as evidenced by the way Tower Heist audiences are still asking themselves whether Murphy really said that and, if so, whether he can because damn. Anyway, their departure now leaves the Academy back at square one in its quest to “shake up” the Oscars and really recapture the groundbreaking, youthful zeitgeist that the show once so defiantly represented.
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