Director Brett Ratner, who was replaced at the last minute as the 2012 Oscars producer following comments he made about his sex life and uttering a homophobic slur, has made a $1-million gift for the planned Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences museum.
The academy said Wednesday that its capital campaign, launched in 2012 to build a museum in partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has secured more than half of its $300-million goal in commitments.
"I feel blessed to be part of such a magnificent museum," Ratner, the director of the "Rush Hour" movies, said in a statement. "I was blown away by the recent Kubrick exhibit at LACMA, which the academy co-sponsored. I couldn't be more excited that our academy will finally have its own museum that will preserve and exhibit cinema's greatest work."
Ratner, who was to have joined with veteran producer Don Mischer to helm the Oscars, had been an unusual pick as producer of the annual awards show, and soon after he was named to the job he became a lightning rod for criticism.
Following a screening of his "Tower Heist," Ratner said during a question-and-answer session that "rehearsal is for fags." He then went on Howard Stern's Sirius XM radio show and talked explicitly about his sex life.
Ratner apologized, but the drumbeat of criticism continued, culminating in Ratner's resignation. His Oscar host and "Tower Heist" star Eddie Murphy soon followed him out the door.
"Brett has a sincere love of movies and film history, and we are excited to welcome him to our group of supporters," Bill Kramer, the museum's managing director of development, said in a statement.
The planned museum is designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and Los Angeles architect Zoltan Pali. The architectural centerpiece of the 290,000-square-foot complex, just west of the campus of LACMA, would be a giant glass-enclosed dome, which Piano refers to as the "sphere" and the "soap bubble."
It would hold a 1,000-seat theater and be attached to the northern side of architect Albert C. Martin's 1939 May Co. building, which would be restored as part of the museum plan and hold exhibits on Hollywood history and the craft of filmmaking. A rear addition to the May Co. built in 1946 would be demolished to make way for the dome.