Apparently thinking a potentially revived career isn’t worth being Brett “rehearsing is for fags” Ratner’s hosting leftovers, Eddie Murphy has relinquished his hosting duties for the 84th Academy Awards.

This comes in the wake of Brett Ratner stepping down from his duties as producer of the ceremony, after getting called out for casually dropping the word “fag” in an interview, as well generally being an insufferable public douchebag about Olivia Munn, jacking off, and shellfish in the press. While the Academy seemed ready to overlook the shenanigans, the Tower Heist director took it upon himself to give up the gig with an apologetic statement.

“…please know that I will be taking real action over the coming weeks and months in an effort to do everything I can both professionally and personally to help stamp out the kind of thoughtless bigotry I’ve so foolishly perpetuated.

As a first step, I called Tom Sherak this morning and resigned as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards telecast. Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career. But as painful as this may be for me, it would be worse if my association with the show were to be a distraction from the Academy and the high ideals it represents.”

Admittedly, it was a classy letter (pretty much the best one could write in such a scenario), but I don’t know that anyone felt his was a great loss to the Oscar ceremony. His one interesting decision to have Eddie Murphy host the awards –after peeling himself out of the molasses pool of semi-retired apathy and family movie tripe he’s been mired in– has now been made moot by Murphy’s statement today that makes it clear he’ll be exiting along with Ratner.

“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.”

So now the Academy Awards are back to zero, and have a complete do-over for their producer/host choice. Got any good ideas for ‘em? I think The Muppets would be a great choice, certainly better than the AMPAS simply cutting Nolan a check for his name and gritting things up, as would by the latest lazy Hollywood choice.

Drop them in the comments or on the message boards if you have any ideas of your own.

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Source | EW