Ratner's bad week started off with his latest movie, 'Tower Heist,' coming in second place in the box office on its opening weekend, well behind reigning cartoon cat 'Puss in Boots.' 'Puss' snagged $33 million in its second weekend, while 'Heist' underperformed with a mediocre $25.1 million debut. The crime caper comedy reportedly cost around $75 million to make, and marked Eddie Murphy's return to the land of PG-13 movies alongside an all-star cast that includes Ben Stiller.
Ratner made matters worse by using a gay slur while talking about 'Tower Heist' at a Q&A for the movie over the weekend, saying "rehearsals are for fags." The Internet immediately pounced on the comment, landing the already controversial director in even more hot water.
Ratner quickly issued an apology: "I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words." But clearly that wasn't enough.
Deadline reported yesterday that AMPAS president Tom Sherak was backing Ratner up after his apology. "His remarks were inappropriate. He said it best in his apology, that his comments were dumb and insensitive. When you think of our community, it went against all the beliefs of the creative community we represent. He knew it was wrong and he issued that response as quickly as any human being ever has. The bottom line is, this won't and can't happen again. It will not happen again. He apologized and we will move forward. How do I know this? I've known this man for a very long time. He has many friends who are members of the gay and lesbian community. The apology he gave I truly believe comes from his heart. If it didn't believe it, I would do something about it. This is about integrity and honoring the Academy Awards, but we all make mistakes and I believe he didn't mean it."
But Sherak was singing a different tune Tuesday -- the Academy released this statement after Ratner resigned: "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 all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent."
Murphy was tapped to host the Oscars this year after working with Ratner and screenwriter-Oscar writer Ted Griffin on 'Tower Heist.' No word yet on whether Ratner's departure will affect Murphy and Griffin's Oscars gigs as well.
Our pals at Moviefone chronicled just a few of Ratner's more controversial moments here.
Tell us: Do you think Brett Ratner made the right decision?