LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Eddie Murphy has bowed out of his gig as host of the Academy Awards, following pal Brett Ratner's decision to leave the show as producer because of an uproar over a gay slur.
The news of Murphy's departure came Wednesday, a day after Ratner quit as producer of the Feb. 26 show.
Ratner left amid criticism of his use of a pejorative term for gay men in a question-and-answer session at a screening of his action comedy "Tower Heist," which stars Murphy and Ben Stiller.
Murphy said in a news release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that he had looked forward to playing host at the Oscars but that he understands and supports "each party's decision with regard to a change of producers."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)