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UPDATE: And your Oscars host is: Billy Crystal.
The comic tweeted the news Thursday afternoon, writing: "Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show."
The awards-show mainstay is replacing Eddie Murphy.
Deadline has confirmed the news.
UPDATE Thursday at 10:13 a.m.: The Academy has hired Brian Grazer to take over the Oscars telecast.
The A Beautiful Mind producer will replace Brett Ratner, who resigned as producer of the awards ceremony on Wednesday after coming under fire for making an anti-gay remark.
No word yet on who will be tapped to take over hosting duties from Eddie Murphy, but Entertainment Weekly speculates Grazer could pick Tom Hanks, Steven Martin or perhaps even Jason Bateman for the job.
UPDATE Wednesday at 4:32 p.m. That didn't take long. Less than a day after Brett Ratner announced he was stepping aside as producer of the next Oscar telecast, the New York Times reports that Eddie Murphy is dropping out as host.
Ratner had picked Murphy, a friend, for the role. In a statement, Murphy said he supported Ratner's decision to step down after making an anti-gay remark. “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,” Murphy said.
The Times speculates on how the departures will affect the telecast:
Mr. Ratner was to co-produce the show with Don Mischer, a past Oscar producer who remains in place. Though plans for the program were still being formed, the two producers had made clear that they intended to bring an extra-heavy dollop of comedy — hence Mr. Murphy — to a ceremony that might not have looked much different than the variety show-style ceremonies of years past. Whether that approach will endure with Mr. Murphy’s exit is unclear.
POST Wednesday 12:37 p.m.: Under fire for saying last weekend that “rehearsal is for fags,” movie director Brett Ratner resigned Tuesday as producer of the Oscars.
The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
The February awards telecast may also need a new host if Ratner’s choice, Eddie Murphy, follows him out the door.
Ratner, best known for directing the Rush Hour series, casually dropped the ugly remark in a Q&A following a screening of his new flick Tower Heist. He followed it up with an appearance on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show in which he delved into his sex life, apologizing for previous comments about his sexual encounters with comedian Olivia Munn but going on to say that he had sent professional train wreck Lindsay Lohan to get checked for STDs before having sex with her. “I have huge balls,” he added for good measure.
In a statement, he apologized, saying, “Being asked to help put on the Oscar show was the proudest moment of my career. But 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.”
In a statement of his own, Academy president Tom Sherak said, “He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself. Words have meaning, and they have consequences.”
The Los Angeles Times noted that Ratner “was an unconventional choice for the job and was touted as someone who could shake up the program and bring more viewers and pizazz to the affair.” But the Academy shouldn’t have been surprised by Ratner’s behavior, LAT columnist Patrick Goldstein wrote:
It's hardly a news flash that Ratner is a crass hustler who's spent his entire career in a Sammy Glick-like rush to get ahead, often behaving with all of the grace and elan of a character out of ‘Entourage.’ Ratner is loyal to his friends and a big contributor to charity, but he often acts like an over-entitled bar-mitzvah boy, running amok at his afterparty.
Several commentators had criticized the Academy for not firing Ratner immediately. Writing for Grantland earlier this week, Mark Harris dissected the producer’s initial apology, adding, “I’ve had to listen to versions of every one of these mea-not-quite-culpas over the years and seriously, I’m no longer interested in patiently witnessing the slow arc of a public figure’s learning curve.” He concluded:
There’s not really a long, nuanced debate to be had about this. If he had used an equivalent racial or religious slur, the discussion would go something like, “You’re fired.” Apology or not. The same rule applies here. You don’t get a mulligan on homophobia. Not in 2011.
For those craving more of Ratner’s bile, THR compiled a list of the 10 most offensive quotes that led up to his resignation.