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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

November 9, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Eddie Murphy out as Oscar host (updated)

And the chaos continues. This morning, as many of us predicted, Eddie Murphy resigned as host of the Academy Awards ceremony, in the wake of yesterday’s resignation of producer Brett Ratner. Academy president Tom Sherak, who’s had a rotten couple of days, made the announcement this morning. Murphy, who starred in Ratner’s “Tower Heist” and was recruited for the gig by Ratner, said this in a statement:

“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.”

In other words, he’s outta there. So . . . back to the drawing board. Anyone have Hugh Jackman on speed dial? Neil Patrick Harris? Billy Crystal, who easily won a P&P poll on the subject a few months back? Or . . . . ?
Update (4:45 p.m.): The Academy has announced that Brian Grazer, four-time Oscar nominee as a producer (“Frost/Nixon,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Apollo 13”) and writer (“Splash”), has agreed to step in to produce the Oscars, replacing Brett Ratner. Quick work! Deadline.com reports that Grazer is making calls to find a new host. Despite some rumors that Grazer (a producer of “Tower Heist”) might convince Eddie Murphy to return, word is that he’s still definitely out and that the Academy is “moving on.”

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