The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that Brian Grazer (The Da Vinci Code, A Beautiful Mind) will be the new producer of the Academy Awards, the latest development in a wild 48 hours that saw previous producer Brett Ratner resign amid a firestorm of controversy and Eddie Murphy subsequently withdraw from hosting the show this morning. Ironically, Grazer also produced Ratner and Murphy’s latest film, Tower Heist. He joins veteran TV producer Don Mischer, who remained on as an Oscar producer after Ratner stepped down.
“It’s very gratifying to be part of a show that honors excellence in the medium to which I have devoted so much of my career,” said Grazer in a statement. “Don is a legend, and I am excited to work with him.”
“Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who over the past 25 years has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work,” added Academy president Tom Sherak. “He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscars.” Added Mischer, “I am thrilled to welcome Brian Grazer as my partner and that we will be collaborating to produce an outstanding show.”
Ratner resigned his position yesterday after coming under harsh criticism for his use of an anti-gay slur at a post-screening Q&A for Tower Heist, and a ribald interview on The Howard Stern Show. Murphy bowed out from the show this morning, saying, “I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.”
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