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The A-list actor has stepped down as host for the 2012 Academy Awards in support of his friend and colleague, Brett Ratner’s decision to step down as the shows producer after a gay slur.

Director Brett Ratner came under fire after he said: “Rehearsal is for fags” at a Q & A session for his latest film Tower Heist which stars Eddie Murphy.

Comedian Eddie Murphy said: “I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.”

“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.”

Brett Ratner who is best known for directing the Rush Hour film series, and X-Men: The Last Stand apologised for his remark stating: “It was a dumb and outdated way of expressing myself.”

Producer Brian Grazer, who is well known for working on A Beautiful Mind has been called in to replace Ratner as producer.

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