WTF News Part 2 – Brett Ratner to Produce Oscars?!?!

Well, it’s finally happened. The vaunted Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – long accused of rewarding mediocrity – has officially given up any pretense of being a standard of quality in the film community. The Academy has hired douchebag hack director Brett Ratner, a man who normally wouldn’t be allowed within a mile of the Oscars ceremony, to produce next year’s telecast. What the hell is happening out there in Hollywood these days?

This comes hot on the heels of news that the Academy will also be awarding Oprah Winfrey with an honorary Oscar at the same ceremony, despite the fact that she has next to nothing to do with filmmaking or the film industry. Oprah has only ever acted in three movies (‘The Color Purple’ in 1985, ‘Native Son’ in 1986 and ‘Beloved’ in 1998), plus a couple of cameo voice-acting roles in animated films like ‘Bee Movie’ and ‘The Princess and the Frog’. True, she has produced two movies that were Oscar nominated (‘Beloved’ for costume design and ‘Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and Produced by the All-Powerful Media Goddess Known as The Oprah’ for a bunch of stuff it didn’t deserve), but that hardly seems like sufficient qualifications for her own Oscar.

Even if it is just the Humanitarian Award, the criteria for the Jean Hersholt prize state that it’s intended for an “individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.” While Oprah may have done her share of laudable humanitarian work, she simply isn’t a part of the motion picture industry. She is, of course, a dominant force on television and one of the most beloved persons on the planet. This seems like a painfully transparent attempt to pander for TV ratings.

Obviously, ratings are exactly what the Oscar telecast desperately needs to shore up. The ceremony’s viewership has been declining in recent years, and wasn’t helped at all by this past spring’s broadcast hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, which received some scathing notices from both TV critics and viewers.

For some reason, the Academy thinks that the solution is to let the director of such shitty movies as the ‘Rush Hour‘ franchise and ‘X-Men: The Last Stand‘ take over. In regard to taking on the job, Ratner said: “I think comedy is the key… That’s the most important thing I can accomplish. If people can sit in that theater and laugh, and people can watch at home around the world and laugh, then I’ve accomplished what I want to do.” That’s not necessarily untrue. Unfortunately, Ratner’s idea of comedy is to let Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan exchange racial stereotypes while loud stuff goes boom behind them. And how, exactly, does directing garbage action movies make Ratner qualified to produce a live television event?

The Los Angeles Times has a fun list of “Six Ways Brett Ratner’s Resume Could Shape the Oscars.”

I see two ways that this can play out. Either Rather will have absolutely no influence on the direction of the ceremony whatsoever, and the telecast will be exactly as dull and over-long as it usually is, or he’ll make this into a stunning train wreck that people will scoff about for decades to come.

[via E! Online]


  1. no offence but these arn’t really wtf moments. it’s hollywood , wtf moments went out along time ago with francis the talking mule. it’s not a great idea , brett hosting the oscars but neither is stiing for 3 1/2 hours watching the oscars. so i have no problem with him hosting the oscars. the oprah thing i kind of get. all those years sitting with john travolta , jade and will smith for an hour at a time , is humanitarian work. 🙂

    • Josh Zyber

      He’s not hosting. He’s producing. He’ll be the one shaping the direction of the ceremony, telling the writers to put in more wacky racial stereotype jokes and periodically setting off explosions on stage for no reason.

      The Oscar ceremony has always been a slog to get through. I understand that the Academy wants to juice it up a little. Buy how is Brett Ratner the man for this job? What are his qualifications? He has no background in producing live television events or awards ceremonies. And although some of his movies have made a fair amount of money, he’s not an iconic figure that will make people want to tune in to see what he does with it.

      If Tarantino produced the ceremony, peoople would tune in just to see what he did. Hell, if Michael Bay produced the ceremony, that would probably be a ratings bonanza.

      But Brett Ratner? He’s just a hack with a history of making crappy movies, including a few that people really hated. I feel like the Academy picked his name out of a hat.

  2. Alex

    I would have thought this was a good thing. It gives Ratner less time to make movies. Isn’t that a pretty laudable goal?

  3. Jane Morgan

    The 82nd Academy Awards was produced by Adam Shankman, director of ‘Bringing Down The House.’

    The 76th Academy Awards was produced by Joe Roth, director of “Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise.’

    The 1st Academy Awards was only 15 minutes in length, and came with a free pickle.

  4. Mike Attebery

    He’s working an angle to try to win an Oscar one day. Love that the pic is of this fat ass on his cell phone. Ever seen the documentary on ‘After the Sunset’ DVD? It’s just him in a knee length fatboy T-shirt, talking on the cell phone day and night while everyone else does all the work.

  5. Oh, and not to get political, but Oprah winning an Honorary Oscar is probably for her future work. You know, like the Nobel Peace Prize committee did for Obama after 12 days in office.

  6. Jon

    Ratner must have some serious dirt on people in Hollywood. He doomed Hannibal Lecter and the X-Men and Rush Hour was so boing that I think I daydreamed through 2/3rds of it. Michael Bay might be an egotistical dink, but at least his movies have personality, such as it is. I agree that he should product an Oscar telecast. Each sppech will last 1 second, followed by an explosion, a ‘hot’ chick in a skimpy outfit, and a slow mo run offstage by the presenter.

  7. Jane Morgan

    I forgot how much I love ‘Red Dragon.’

    Apart from that, looking over his filmography, The Rat has made entirely too much box office.

  8. Jon

    Apparently the other producer of the AA has called Ratner “an incredibly inventive risk taker”. I need to by a new BS meter as my old one just melted with that statement.