It’s been quite a week for Brett Ratner. His new Ben Stiller “comedy” Tower Heist came up short at the box office – only making $24 million ($11 million less than expected) and finishing in second place overall. On top of that, he’s had to make public apologies for two different idiotic comments he made, one of which got him fired from his gig producing next year’s Oscars.
So if you’ve managed to avoid all things Ratner, let’s take a moment to catch you up to speed.
Last Thursday, Ratner went on G4’s Attack of the Show to promote his new film. During the course of the interview, he claimed that former AotS host Olivia Munn was actually writing about him in her memoir Suck It, Wonder Woman!: The Misadventures of a Hollywood Geek when she told the story of an unnamed director who ate shrimp and pleasured himself in front of her in his trailer. According to Munn’s book, this unnamed director was “a grown man in an oversized shirt holding his undersized manhood in hands glistening with shrimp fat.” (Man, I can’t wait for them to turn her memoir into a movie.)
Ratner told Attack of the Show that he was the director in question, but that the story was made up to get back at him.
“I used to date Olivia Munn, I’ll be honest with everyone here. But when she was ‘Lisa.’ She wasn’t Asian back then,” he said. “She was hanging out on my set of After the Sunset, I banged her a few times, but I forgot her. Because she changed her name. I didn’t know it was the same person and so when she auditioned for me for a TV show, I forgot her, she got pissed off and so she made up all these stories about me eating shrimp and masturbating in my trailer. And she talked about my shortcomings.”
Ratner recanted this claim on Howard Stern’s show on Monday, saying that he had talked to Munn and that he wasn’t actually the shrimp-eating self-pleasurer in her book. He also said that the two never had a relationship.
“She’s actually talented. The problem is I made her look like she’s a whore,” Ratner told Stern.
(In that same Howard Stern interview, Ratner talked about his relationship with Lindsay Lohan in 2006 and said he made her get STD tested before they hooked up. “Before I have sex with a girl, I do do one weird thing,” Ratner said. “I do take ‘em to the doctor and check ‘em out. I’m like a cootie freak. I’m a germaphobe. I’m a hypochondriac. Before I go all the way, I send the girl to the doctor and check them for everything. My doctor has a test to tell if you’re going to catch something in the future even.”)
Why Ratner would assume Munn was writing about him is anyone’s guess. As far as I know, no one thought it was him before he started talking about it, so it’s not like he was doing damage control. Perhaps he mistook her with some other poor starlet he invited back to his trailer for chicken wings and naughty times. Or perhaps he simply assumes that all stories involving directors with “undersized manhood” are about him.
Either way, surprisingly, this series of unfortunate events has nothing to do with Ratner getting fired as the producer of the Academy Awards. Instead, Ratner got the boot for a completely different idiotic comment he made at a Tower Heist screening on Friday.
When asked if he has actors rehearse their scenes before filming, instead of simply saying: “Are you kidding, bro? Does it look like anyone is rehearsing those scenes?” Ratner replied: “Rehearsal is for fags.”
I assume he wasn’t making a statement about how trained actors in the homosexual community are known to fastidiously prepare for their scenes and was instead attempting to use the word “fag” in a Louis CK schoolhouse taunting sort of way. But whatever the case, his incredibly ill-advised choice of words got him in hot water, which led to Ratner doing another public mea culpa.
“I should have known this all along, but at least I know it now: words do matter,” Ratner said. “Having love in your heart doesn’t count for much if what comes out of your mouth is ugly and bigoted.”
I wish I was surprised that a big name Hollywood director just now figured out that words matter, but I saw the third X-Men movie, so I know words aren’t his strong suit.
Ratner also said: “I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. It was a dumb way of expressing myself. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words.”
Personally, I think Ratner should have to apologize for calling himself a storyteller, but that’s beside the point. Even after his public apology, the Academy decided to part ways with Ratner, firing him as the producer of the Oscars. That means that his only shot at being a part of the telecast now is if Tower Heist is nominated for – HAHAHAHAHA! Sorry, I can’t even finish that sentence.
I’ll say this for Ratner – while this has certainly not been the best week of his career, it has actually managed to entertain me, which frankly I wasn’t sure he was capable of anymore. I’m starting to think he should give up directing all together and just star in a reality show. I’m sure all it would take for some network to sign him is a plate of shrimp and a few unsuspecting starlets.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.