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Wednesday, November 9

Eddie Murphy drops Out as Oscars host

    Eddie Murphy is dropping out as the host of the Oscars telecast, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences said Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the show’s producer, Brett Ratner, stepped aside amid a storm of criticism over his use of an anti-gay slur. 
        Mr. Ratner, who was named the Oscar co-producer on Aug. 4, resigned on Tuesday morning because of the furor provoked by his public use over the weekend of an anti-gay slur, and a subsequent, salacious discussion of his own sexual habits on Howard Stern’s radio program.Mr. Murphy on Wednesday followed Mr. Ratner — his friend, and the director of his latest film “Tower Heist” — out the door.
   "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well," Tom Sherak, the president of the academy, said in a statement.In the statement, Mr. Murphy said he understood and supported “each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers.”
   “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,” he said.
The Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 26.