LOS ANGELES — Film Director Brett Ratner, whose homophobic slur last year resulted in a controversy that forced him to step down as co-producer of the 2012 Academy Awards broadcast, has teamed with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to direct and produce a LGBTQ supportive video campaign.The upcoming video series will feature a diverse group of Hollywood celebrities, athletes, musicians and politicians “coming out of the closet” as supporters of equality. Participants will share personal stories about why and how they support the LGBT community and call on Americans to do the same.
“Working together with GLAAD has been a very positive and enlightening experience for me, and I could not be more pleased to be developing this crucial campaign to help educate people that we all share the same humanity,” Ratner said, in a statement.
“I am excited to get to work on this program and hope that minds and hearts are opened by what we create.”
Ratner’s teaming with GLAAD is seen as an effort to re-build his image after last year’s debacle — the notoriously sharp-tongued director had stated that “rehearsing is for fags,” which quickly drew criticism from GLAAD and Entertainment Weekly columnist Mark Harris, along with other LGBTQ rights advocates and allies.
Ratner later apologized for the comment, saying, “It was a dumb way of expressing myself.”
In a statement, GLAAD praised Ratner’s participation in the video project.
“Straight allies are crucial to creating a culture in which LGBT people are respected and supported,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs and Communications at GLAAD.
“We look forward to working with Brett and these other inspiring Americans who are speaking out and standing up for their LGBT friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers,” Graddick said.
Ratner is known for directing films including the “Rush Hour” series, “Red Dragon,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” and “Tower Heist.”