Eddie Murphy Quits As Oscars Host Following Gay Slur Row

Eddie Murphy has quit as the host of the Oscars following a row over apparent homophobic comments made by the producer of the awards.

Film director Brett Ratner stepped down from his role as producer of the 84th annual academy awards on Tuesday following remarks he made when speaking about his new film 'Tower Heist', in which Murphy is a star.

Asked how he went about conducting rehearsals for his film, Ratner replied: "rehearsing is for fags."

Ratner has since apologiaed for the remarks.

In a statement issued on Wednesday Murphy said: "I want to say that 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."

"I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well," Academy President Tom Sherak said in a statement.

A replacement host has yet to be named.