BREAKING: Eddie Murphy Drops Out As Academy Award Host

EddieMurphyOscars300.jpgThere goes the Tower Heist contingent of this year's Oscars. Less than a day after Brett Ratner resigned as producer of the 84th Academy Awards telecast following a series of controversial remarks made while promoting Tower Heist, his star Eddie Murphy has forfeited his spot as this year's host.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences made the announcement Wednesday morning via press release which included the following statement from Murphy:

"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."

The actor was pulled on board to host the Oscars by his Tower Heist director as both a marketing ploy for the comedy -- which premiered to lackluster box-office figures this past weekend -- and as a means for what many fans hoped would be a Murphy comeback. When the notoriously press-shy actor was pressed to speak about his upcoming hosting gig during Tower Heist promotional interviews, he either shied away from the subject or joked that he would be the worst Academy Awards host in history, leading some to speculate that the actor was not as excited to host the telecast as Ratner was to use Murphy as an Academy Awards-long Tower Heist advertisement.

Either way, both Ratner and Murphy have dropped out of this year's Oscars giving the Academy just over three months to find a new producer, a new host and a way to save face over this embarrassing snafu. Who would you like to see replace Murphy come February 26?

· Eddie Murphy Drops Out of Oscars Telecast [NYT]


  • Furious D says:

    Sheesh all this controversy and hassle because Brett Ratner used British slang to say that he would only allow cigarette breaks during rehearsals.
    Man, what a complicated world we live in.

  • Friend of Oscar says:

    Is Rip Taylor available?

  • Chasmosaur says:

    Why don't they just skip hosts and production numbers altogether? Let the nominated songs actually be performed in their entirety and provide more than brief clips of nominated movies and performances.
    If the Academy doesn't want to go there, I'd go with another pair - Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick Harris. Both are excellent entertainers, comfortable with live performance and well liked.

  • JM says:

    "Let the nominated songs actually be performed in their entirety..."
    Or not...please don't...

  • j'accuse! says:

    Ricky Gervais. I know his schtick seems played out w/ the Globes twofer, and no one will be happy with the choice, but they'll all have to show up. Sort of like when the dark horse candidate wins for prom king or queen, but all the popular kids still end up showing because it's prom and you only get one senior year and it goes so fast and all of a sudden it's ten years later and you're still wearing your high school letterman jacket home from your job at the gas station and drinking yourself into a stupor in front of the latest Ultimate Fighting teevee show wondering what happened to your life but at least you're not a nerd or something like that...oh, Rush Hour 3 is on...and then you pass out.

  • Manny says:

    Does the Academy have Conan O' Brien's number?

  • Morgo says:

    Tina Fey

  • Chasmosaur says:

    Okay, I'll give you that - not all songs are created equal.
    But I'm thinking of 2009 when they only allowed the performers 65 seconds for the three nominees in Original Song. Which was Peter Gabriel's song from Wall-E and the two Slumdog Millionaire songs, stating it was a time constraint thing.
    But there was apparently enough time for that cheesy "The Musical is Back" music medley thing with host Hugh Jackman, Beyonce, Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens and others that was twice as long as the medley. And that was on top of Hugh Jackman's musical opening number.
    It enjoy Hugh Jackman but that was a mistake, especially considering Peter Gabriel is a legendary live performer and the Slumdog singers brought some highly entertaining Bollywood to the room. (And if they hadn't limited the number of nominees to 3, they could have had Bruce Springsteen singing his song from The Wrestler.)
    That was the producers (Laurence Mark and Bill Condon) putting on what they *thought* viewers might want to see, even though they had a cadre of excellent performers for good Original Song nominees.