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Talk of the Town: Oscar drama

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The Oscar telecast is the biggest event in Hollywood. The 84th Academy Awards ceremony is not until next February, but there is already plenty of real life drama surrounding it. The spark in a firestorm of controversy was lit over the weekend by movie director Brett Ratner who made an anti-gay slur and resigned on Monday as the producer of the upcoming Oscar broadcast because of it. The Los Angeles Times website has the back story on that here.

Ratner decision to step aside prompted actor/comedian Eddie Murphy to bow out as Oscar host. In a statement released by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences today, Murphy said,”… 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.”

Late today, The Academy announced Oscar winning producer Brian Grazer would be taking over as the producer of the prestigious award show: “”Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who over the past 25 years has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work,” said Academy President Tom Sherak. “He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscars…”

“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 that announcement. In 2001, Grazer won a Best Picture Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind.” His numerous film credits include “Apollo 13,” “Kindergarten Cop,” “8 Mile,” and current projects “Tower Heist,” and “J.Edgar.” This will be his first time as producer of the Oscar telecast. The Academy Awards will be televised live on February 26, 2012 in more than 200 countries around the world.

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