Eddie Murphy is not hosting the Oscars, the actor announced less than one day after producer Brett Ratner dropped out of the gig.
Murphy, 50, was first attached to the Oscars in September, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named him as the host of the 84th Academy Awards, scheduled to take place on Feb. 26, 2012.
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, Murphy in a statement obtained by ABC on Wednesday.
I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our own 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, he added.
On Tuesday, Ratner resigned from producer duties following an anti-gay slur comment he made during a Q&A session for his film Tower Heist. When the 42-year-old director was asked about his work, Ratner answered one particular question with the words rehearsing is for fags.
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The Ratner disaster train continued when he appeared on The Howard Stern Show this week, as he discussed his sex life in great detail.
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, Ratner said in a statement regarding the Oscar resignation.
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. We hope that this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent, Academy president Tom Sherak said on Tuesday.
Tower Heist, starring Murphy, Ben Stiller and Casey Affleck, was just released last Friday. The film, along with February's Oscar hosting duties, were deemed by many in the industry as a major comeback for Murphy, who has been absent from Hollywood in recent years.
In an October interview with Rolling Stone, Murphy hinted at doing movies that were not related to family themes (such as his past hits Dr. Dolittle and the Shrek series).
I don't have any interest in that stuff right now . . . there's really no blueprint, but I'm trying to do some edgy stuff, he told Rolling Stone.
On Wednesday afternoon, Twitter, naturally, was trending with the topics Eddie Murphy, Brett Ratner and Oscars.
Comedian Andy Richter, who regularly appears on Conan, quickly responded to the open gig.
Eddie Murphy quit the Oscars! Yoo-hoo, Academy! I am SO available! Richter wrote on Twitter.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has yet to name a replacement.
Who do you think should host the 2012 Oscars? Share your suggestions below.