Brett Ratner’s gay slur story looked, at the outset, like it was going to be a straightforward one.He tossed off an idiotically careless red carpet remark, saying rehearsal “is for fags” at his own movie premiere.
Under pressure to do so, he surrendered his role producing the Oscars (although it took him longer than it should have. It’s the Oscars, not “The Dark Knight.” It shouldn’t be so hard to step away.)
That should have been the end of that.
Then, this afternoon, Eddie Murphy announced he was pulling out of hosting the ceremony.
He’s a friend of Ratner’s and the star of “Heist,” and now he’s thrown down a gauntlet that makes Ratner’s scandal a hundred times more relevant than it was before.
Now it’s about taking sides.
This was a boneheaded move on Murphy’s part. The Oscars were supposed to cap a mini-comeback for him, and even if he doesn’t care about that, he’s now allied himself with the current news cycle’s most famous homophobe.
And he won’t be the last to suffer Ratner’s taint.
Now that the Oscars have shaken him off, the lens turns to Relativity, whose Ratner-produced “Mirror Mirror” — a Snow White story starring Julia Roberts and Lily Collins — just wrapped production. They’ll have to proceed with caution marketing what was planned as a huge film for the studio.
Then there’s “Mother’s Day,” the horror remake from Ratner that Anchor Bay just bought. Bet they’re feeling a little nervous about that investment.
So who’s actually benefiting from Ratner’s bad behaviour?
Sure, lots of people will be working late tonight in the wake of Murphy’s walkout.
But when was the last time you were talking about the sleepy Oscars — the telecast, not the potential nominees — five months before they happened?
The last person to pay attention to here is the quietest one: actress Olivia Munn.
Ratner’s “fag” comment stole the headlines, but just before he tossed off that little gem, he gave an interview saying he’d “banged” Munn a few times — then he admitted he lied.
But that doesn’t mean she has to stay that way — especially if the industry starts dividing into pro and anti Ratner camps.
If Ratner — who makes an average $7.5 million per picture, by the way — wants to add lying misogynist to his ever-expanding credentials, all he has to do is continue letting famous friends like Murphy add fuel to the fire.
Munn — and the many others he’s likely offended — may just decide to come forward.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.