Eddie Murphy Bails Out of Oscars After Brett Ratner Resigns

11/9/2011 11:13 AM PST

Eddie Murphy is showing the ultimate solidarity with good friend and producing partner Brett Ratner by quitting the 2012 Oscars, which he had agreed to host.

Ratner bailed -- though he may have had no choice -- after making a homophobic remark last week at a screening of "Tower Heist," which stars Murphy.

Murphy says he wanted to do the show and never says squarely he's bailing because Ratner is gone, but his statement leaves little doubt:  "I was looking forward to being part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I'm sure the new production team and host will do an equally great job."

Looks like the Motion Pictures Academy does better with old people -- they're generally a lot safer.