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November 10, 2011

Eddie Murphy Drops Oscar Hosting Gig

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Eddie Murphy (l.) stars in director Brett Ratner's new film, 'Tower Heist.'

Image courtesy: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Like many movie fans, I was pretty jazzed when the Academy announced that Eddie Murphy was going to host the 84th annual Oscar telecast in 2012.  Let's face it Eddie deserved the gig 'cause:

  1. He's made Hollywood a fortune with movies like, "Beverly Hills Cop," "48 Hours," and "Shrek."
  2. He was robbed, cheated, and rooked with a capital "R" out of that Best Supporting Actor statue for his first class turn in the film "Dreamgirls."
  3. He can be incredibly funny.

But what happened next reads better than most scripts Hollywood is producing these days, and gave the people who run the Academy all kinds of headaches.

First Brett Ratner who was hired to co-produce the Oscars, and who brought Eddie on board as host, shot off his mouth last weekend about "rehearsals being for **insert gay slur here**."  But that wasn't bad enough. He followed that up with a stint on Howard Stern's radio show talking in great detail about his sexual exploits. 

Well the suits over at the Academy were understandably perturbed, and before you could say, "...And the Oscar goes to..." good ol' Brett had resigned amidst the critical heat.  Though he did apologize first.

Academy president Tom Sherak accepted the resignation saying in part:

He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself.  Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable.

Brett and Eddie are evidently kinda tight, especially since Brett directed Murphy's current movie, Tower Heist.  So it wasn't too big a surprise that after Brett resigned, Eddie withdrew as Oscar host.  His well worded statement said in part:

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.

Producer Brian Grazer

So no sooner is Grazer announced that there's speculation one of his first jobs as producer is to...wait for it...get Eddie back as Oscar host!  'Cause the Academy still wants him. 

We'll see if Grazer succeeds, but if he doesn't, there's rampant speculation about who might take Eddie's place.  Some ideas:

  1. Billy Crystal signaled recently that he was ready to take another turn hosting the Oscars and he'd be a fab choice.
  2. If the Academy wanted to stick with a comedian but still step outside the box, they might pick this year’s go to gal for comedy, Gilmore Girl alum, recent Emmy winner and breakout star of Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy.  That could be a brilliant choice especially after her hilarious turn hosting Saturday Night Live last month.
  3. If they want to go way outside the box, there's a Facebook page promoting The Muppets as Oscar hosts.  Look, they couldn't be worse than James Franco.

But remember, the Oscar folks like to keep us on our toes so we'll just have to follow the drama as it unfolds.  Pass the popcorn.

Cross Posted from BlogHer


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