March 26, 2017

Oscars: Eddie Murphy out as Academy Awards host – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell The next big shoe has dropped as the Academy continues to deal with the fallout over Brett Ratner’s scandalous remarks and subsequent removal from the Oscars telecast.

With Ratner out as producer, his chosen host – Eddie Murphy – has opted to exit, as well.

“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,” Murphy said in a statement. “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.”

Some would say this move was inevitable. Ratner brought Murphy, whom he directed in “Tower Heist,” into the fold. And it might have been creatively awkward for the comedian to try and collaborate with a new producer.

But I’d also say it’s unfortunate. I’m one of those folks who truly looked forward to seeing Murphy, a legendary stand-up comedian, tackling the Oscar telecast – a beast of a ceremony that has been known to chew up and spit out those who aren’t seasoned veterans of live stage performance (see: Anne Hathaway and James Franco).

As I suggested yesterday, it might be time to hand the 84tht Academy Awards over to an Oscar veteran. Maybe Billy Crystal or Steve Martin? But Murphy’s out, and the ripple effect from Ratner’s “F-bomb” continues.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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