Hours after Brett Ratner resigned his post as producer of the Academy Awards in the aftermath of his quote that “rehearsing is for f—s,” his buddy Russell Simmons stopped by Big Morning Buzz Live. After chatting about his book, Super Rich, and the passing of Heavy D, the hip-hop mogul came to the defense of the Tower Heist director, though not to the defense of his words.
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“I understand how hurtful his words were, and I know Brett’s unfiltered and says sometimes horrible things,” Simmons began, insisting that Ratner didn’t mean his remark as a homophobic slur. “He didn’t mean gay people. I think that’s pretty clear. I’m sorry he said it and I’m sorry he lost his job. I think the punishment was a bit cruel.”
Tom Sherak, the president of the academy, told the Hollywood Reporter that Ratner “did the right thing” by resigning. The director has also pledged to work with GLAAD to help promote the “fair and accurate inclusions of LGBT people” in movies and TV. But Simmons said that he’s spoken to people at GLAAD who said the organization had not called for Ratner’s resignation.
“I think it’s important that people watch what they say and be responsible for what they say,” Simmons explained. “I’m sorry that he had to be the person that was made an example of. People do talk like that and that’s what’s sad. We have a homophobic society, and I’m always fighting against it. I’m always fighting for gay rights and for gay marriage and for things that make our society better, and even for proper use of language. But I don’t think he should have resigned.
“I think he’s maybe being a bit hard on himself,” he added.