In a recent Q&A for the film Tower Heist, director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, X-Men: The Last Stand) was asked about his process, and if he had people rehearse; he stated "rehearsing is for fags." Soon after this news story broke to the mainstream media Ratner issued an apology that went like this "“I apologize for any offense my remarks caused. [Not that they’re by definition offensive, just that somebody MIGHT have been offended.] It was a dumb and outdated way of expressing myself. [Not prejudiced, just “dumb.” Not homophobic, just “outdated.”] Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t have a prejudiced bone in my body. [Some of my best friends are fa—uh, homos, uh, sexuals.] But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words. [I’m a storyteller!]"
So why the major coverage? One of the reasons this is getting major press is because Ratner is slated to produce the Academy Awards this year, and people are calling for his resignation. I have to say I agree with blogger Mark Harris, I am tired of this slow learning curve actors have had within recent years that you saying "Well I'm a comedian" or "I'm a storyteller." I have to ask the question what was the purpose of the use of this word? Why did Mr. Ratner use this specific term? I myself have used the word here. Why shouldn't someone disagree with me for using the word here?
Ratner using the word is pointed and there was no reason for it to be used in the place of stupid or is for idiots. What Brett Ratner meant was rehearsing is for, insert an analogous negative comparison. I am tired of people claiming they are not prejudicial. Using this word in this context is not as much about prejudice as it is about this "storytellers" lack of a strong vocabulary. This storyteller who ruined the X-Men franchise (I am still furious about that). People can chose the words they use, and if they chose wrongly or misspeak they can be penalized for the poor word choice. I think this is a case where Ratner shot his mouth off and let his true lack of intelligence show. When people use those words they do it out of a lack of clarity. I am sure Ratner is not a bad man, nor prejudice, but his concept of language is ill used.
In the closing words of his apology where he searches for the words to describe the LGBT population, he tries a mix of humor and discomfort. In my mind the apology lacks sincerity, and this "master storyteller" can stick to crappy Jackie Chan films; he should not be allowed to continue on to represent the Academy Awards.