Celebrated film auteur Brett Ratner, accomplished director films such as Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3, and the recently released Tower Heist (as well as countless other movies that do not focus on the race relations between mismatched comic-action duos), has come under some scrutiny this week after some homophobic, misogynistic, and vaguely racist remarks.
Ratner appeared on G4’s Attack of the Show last week and was a bit peeved about a passage in Olivia Munn’s memoir. The show’s former host claimed that she "once saw a Hollywood director holding his ‘undersized manhood’ while eating shrimp." Plenty of people assumed she was talking about Ratner (because, ya know, look at him), and Ratner took the opportunity to reveal that she was talking about him–only that she was making it all up. "I used to date Olivia Munn…when she was Lisa," he said. "That was the problem. She wasn’t Asian back then. I banged her a few times…I forgot her, she got pissed off and she made up all these stories about me eating shrimp and masturbating in my trailer."
Apparently on a tour as America’s Classiest Director, Ratner appeared at a Q&A for his new buddy comedy Tower Heist the following evening. When asked what the rehearsal process is like, he replied, "Rehearsal? What’s that? Rehearsal is for fags." He’s since issued an apology, stating, "It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body."
Following a bit of media scrutiny, Ratner apologized again during an interview on The Howard Stern Show, a familiar haven for sensitivity. While he didn’t bring up his use of the gay slur, he did state that he and Olivia Munn are friends and that she admitted that he is not the anonymous director mentioned in her memoir. "She’s actually talented," he said. "The problem is I made her look like she’s a whore."
Ratner is slated to co-produce next year’s Oscars, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences director Tom Sherak announced that the director will keep his job. "Ratner’s priority for the next few months should be to put on a good show, and stop embarrassing the Academy," Sherak told Deadline. "I get the feeling Ratner now understands this but if he keeps shooting himself in the foot, it will be up to the AMPAS board to lay down the law."