Brian Grazer steps in as 2012 Academy Awards producer

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Brian Grazer steps in as 2012 Academy Awards producer

LOS ANGELES - Brian Grazer has stepped onto the Academy Awards merry-go-round.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Wednesday that the veteran producer has signed on to produce next year’s Oscar show after previously named producer Brett Ratner abruptly resigned.

Ratner departed the show Tuesday following an uproar over a gay slur, and the host he chose, Eddie Murphy, resigned Wednesday.

Academy President Tom Sherak said Grazer will join co-producer Don Mischer, who was named producer alongside Ratner in August.

Mischer, who co-produced the 2011 telecast, said in a statement that he is “thrilled to welcome Brian Grazer as my partner and that we will be collaborating to produce an outstanding show.”

Grazer said, “Don is a legend, and I am excited to work with him.”

The 60-year-old Grazer won an Oscar for 2001’s best picture, “A Beautiful Mind.”

His appointment comes after a tumultuous few days for the academy that included Ratner’s use of a gay slur and frank discussion of his sexual exploits, an apology from the 42-year-old director, his resignation a day later, then Murphy’s exit on Wednesday after accepting the hosting job in September.

Murphy’s exit deprives Oscar organizers of a top star for an often thankless job that’s tough to fill, since some hosts have found little to gain from the gig and plenty to lose if they do a poor job as MC of Hollywood’s biggest party.

“I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony,” Murphy said in a news release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “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.”

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