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Oscars 2012 – Bill Crystal to replace Eddie Murphy

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Oscars 2012 - Billy Crystal
Billy Crystal will serve as host for the 84th Academy Awards

Things have been busy at the Academy of Motion Pictures this week which has culminated in the announcement of Billy Crystal making a return to presenting the Oscars in February 2012.

It all started with Producer Brett Ratner making some ill chosen remarks last weekend that “rehearsal is for fags,” and discussing his sex life on the Howard Stern radio show on Monday. Brett then resigned on Tuesday after criticism of his behaviour. This left his friend Eddie Murphy, who had been chosen to present the award ceremony, without the working relationship in a difficult position so on Wednesday he too left the production to give the incoming producer chance to choose his own choice of presenter.

Oscars 2012 - Brian Grazer
Brian Grazer will join Don Mischer as a producer of the 84th Academy Awards. This will be the first time Grazer has produced the Oscar® telecast

Producers Brian Grazer was appointed to replace Brett later on Wednesday and then on Thursday we had the announcement that Billy Crystal will be presenting.

To me this seems like good news as Eddie Murphy’s comedy turn can irate after a short time while Billy Crystal has a much easier going patter. It is interesting to note that Billy Crystal came to the note in the role as Jodie Dallas, a openly gay man, in the parody soap-opera Soap.

Billy has presented the Oscars eight times before, his last being back in 2004. With this therefore being his 9th he actually has a long way to go before beating Bob Hope who hosted the Oscars 19 times!

This year’s ceremony, back in February, was hosted by the film star duo of Anne Hathaway and James Franco.

Brett has been contrite and has made a full apology. In it he said “So many artists and craftspeople in our business are members of the LGBT [gay, lesbian, Bisexual or transgender] community, and it pains me deeply that I may have hurt them. I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter. Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted.”

For your amusement and interest below are the related press releases from the Academy of this rather silly affair.

November 10, 2011

BILLY CRYSTAL TO RETURN AS HOST FOR 84TH ACADEMY AWARDS®
Beverly Hills, CA – Producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer have announced that Billy Crystal will serve as host for the 84th Academy Awards. “I’m thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar® stage,” said Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak. “He’s a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs.”

Commented Grazer, “Like so many others, I’ve been eager to see Billy host again. It’s very gratifying that he agreed to do it with Don and me at the helm.”

Said Mischer, “With Billy, we’re moving forward with one of the greatest hosts in Oscar history. His return to the Oscars® is, in a sense, a celebration.”

This will mark Crystal’s ninth time as host. Only Bob Hope has hosted more Academy Awards presentations, with 19 ceremonies between 1940 and 1978. Crystal last hosted the Academy Awards in 2004.

“Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage. I am thrilled to be back there. Actually, I am doing this so that the young woman in my pharmacy will stop asking me my name when I pick up my prescriptions,” said Crystal.

November 9, 2011

EDDIE MURPHY EXITS AS HOST OF 84TH ACADEMY AWARDS®

Beverly Hills, CA – Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced that Eddie Murphy has withdrawn as host of the 84th Academy Awards. “I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” said Sherak.

Commented Murphy, “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. 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.”

November 8, 2011

ACADEMY STATEMENT REGARDING BRETT RATNER

Beverly Hills, CA – This morning, Brett Ratner submitted his resignation as a producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards to Academy President Tom Sherak. Ratner then issued an open letter to the entertainment industry in which he explained his decision.

“He did the right thing for the Academy and for himself,” Sherak said. “Words have meaning, and they have consequences. Brett is a good person, but his comments were unacceptable. We all hope this will be an opportunity to raise awareness about the harm that is caused by reckless and insensitive remarks, regardless of the intent.”

September 6, 2011

EDDIE MURPHY TO HOST 84TH ACADEMY AWARDS®

Beverly Hills, CA – Oscar® nominee Eddie Murphy, whose performing career spans movies, television and the stage, will host this year’s Academy Awards show on Sunday, February 26, 2012, telecast producers Brett Ratner and Don Mischer announced today. This will be Murphy’s first hosting stint on the Oscars®.

“Eddie is a comedic genius, one of the greatest and most influential live performers ever,” said Ratner. “With his love of movies, history of crafting unforgettable characters and his iconic performances – especially on stage – I know he will bring excitement, spontaneity and tremendous heart to the show Don and I want to produce in February.”

Commented Mischer, “Eddie is a truly ground-breaking performer, whose amazingly diverse array of roles has won him a devoted audience of all ages. His quick wit and charisma will serve him very well as Oscar host.”

“I am enormously honored to join the great list of past Academy Award hosts from Hope and Carson to Crystal, Martin and Goldberg, among others,” said Murphy. “I’m looking forward to working with Brett and Don on creating a show that is enjoyable for both the fans at home and for the audience at the Kodak Theatre as we all come together to celebrate and recognize the great film contributions and collaborations from the past year.”

Murphy began his career at the age of 15 as a stand-up comedian. In 1980, at the age of 19, he joined the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” becoming the show’s youngest cast member to that point, and bringing to life many of the show’s most memorable characters. His 1983 album “Eddie Murphy: Comedian” won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording. It included portions of his groundbreaking HBO special “Eddie Murphy Delirious.” In 1987, “Eddie Murphy Raw” was theatrically released and went on to gross over $50 million. Murphy made his feature film debut in 1982 with the classic “48 Hrs.” and would go on to star in such box-office hits as “Beverly Hills Cop” and the “The Nutty Professor” and “Shrek” franchises. All told, movies in which he has performed have earned in excess of $7 billion worldwide during their theatrical releases.

Murphy earned an Oscar nomination in 2006 for his supporting role in “Dreamgirls.”

August 4, 2011

BRETT RATNER AND DON MISCHER TO PRODUCE 84TH ACADEMY AWARDS® TELECAST

Mischer to also serve as telecast director
Beverly Hills, CA – Brett Ratner and Don Mischer will produce the 84th Academy Awards telecast, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced today. This will be Ratner’s first involvement with the Oscar show; Mischer will for the second year in a row serve as a producer and as the telecast director.

“I was so impressed with Brett when I met with him to discuss the Oscar show,” said Sherak. “He has an incredible love of film and its history and is a true student of the business of movies. He’s unbelievably creative and knows how to take risks that are both interesting and inspiring. Together with Don Mischer – who, by the way, just earned an Emmy nomination for his work on the 83rd Academy Awards – I think these two will give us a fantastic Oscar show that you won’t want to miss.”

“I’m thrilled that Don will again bring his tremendous expertise to the Oscar telecast,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “And Brett has a really smart and fresh take for the show. They have great chemistry, and their vision meshed so well with ours.”

“Making movies has been my dream since childhood, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have made several, but the Oscar show is in a league of its own,” said Ratner. “It will be fantastic to work with a live television master like Don to meld the glamour of legendary Hollywood with the enormous talents who thrill moviegoers today.”

“The Academy Awards are in a class by themselves, and I’m elated that the Academy has asked me to return,” said Mischer. “I hope to take the wealth of knowledge I now have about the Oscars, which is a completely unique kind of show, and work with Brett to create an evening that is fast-paced, fun, and memorable to movie fans and Oscar fans everywhere.”

Ratner’s work spans movies, including eight features; numerous television series; over 100 music videos; and a multitude of commercials. A native of Miami Beach, he is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he now serves on the Dean’s Council. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Simon Wiesenthal Center. Ratner’s next directorial release is “Tower Heist,” due out in November, and he will soon begin directing “39 Clues” for DreamWorks, based on the popular young-adult book series published by Scholastic, as well as “Hercules: The Thracian Wars” for MGM. Ratner’s film producing credits include “Horrible Bosses,” currently in release, as well as an upcoming adaptation of “Snow White,” in which Julia Roberts will play the Queen.

Additionally, Ratner has produced documentaries about the legendary photographer Helmut Newton and the actor John Cazale, and he executive produced the documentary “Catfish” as well as the upcoming “Seriously Funny – The Comic Art of Woody Allen,” which will debut on PBS in November as a two-part installment of the “American Masters” series.

In addition to the 83rd Academy Awards, Mischer’s producer/director credits include “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial,” “The Kennedy Center Honors,” several Super Bowl half-time shows and the opening ceremonies of both Winter and Summer Olympic Games. He has also produced specials with a wide range of musical performers, including Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé, Bono, Barbra Streisand, Justin Timberlake and Yo Yo Ma. Among the many honors he has earned are 15 Emmy Awards, 10 Directors Guild of America Awards, two NAACP Image Awards and a Peabody Award.

April 26 , 2011

KEY DATES ANNOUNCED FOR 84TH ACADEMY AWARDS®
Beverly Hills, CA – The 84th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, Academy President Tom Sherak announced today.

The ceremony will again take place at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network. A 90-minute red carpet show will immediately precede the ceremony broadcast.

Key dates currently scheduled are:

Thursday, December 1, 2011: Official Screen Credits forms due
Tuesday, December 27, 2011: Nominations ballots mailed
Friday, January 13, 2012: Nominations polls close 5 p.m. PT
Tuesday, January 24, 2012: Nominations announced 5:30 a.m. PT,
Samuel Goldwyn Theater
Wednesday, February 1, 2012: Final ballots mailed
Monday, February 6, 2012: Nominees Luncheon
Saturday, February 11, 2012: Scientific and Technical Awards presentation
Tuesday, February 21, 2012: Final polls close 5 p.m. PT
Sunday, February 26, 2012: 84th Academy Awards presentation