Though director Brett Ratner might have made quite a few enemies -- and lost his gig as producer of next year's Oscars -- when he made a homophobic comment earlier this month, he has what some might consider a surprising sympathizer: Jane Lynch.
This past weekend at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center's 40th anniversary gala, the 'Glee' actress told E!'s Marc Malkin, "I feel bad for [Ratner]," adding, "I wasn't offended. I'm OK."
Ratner's troubles began when he commented that "rehearsing is for fags" at a recent "Tower Heist" Q&A. Outraged fans and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) immediately spoke out against the director's homophobic remark and a day later he agreed to resign from the Oscars and friend Eddie Murphy, who was set to host the awards show, followed suit soon after.
Lynch, who is one of the most visible and successful out actors working in Hollywood today, also told Malkin, "I think humor is such a personal thing and you put a microphone in somebody's face, they're going to say something that offends somebody."
Comedy and controversy have long been entertwined, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like race, gender, and sexuality. Earlier this year comedian and actor Tracy Morgan came under fire after performing a brutally homophobic standup set that included comments about murdering his son if he ever came out as gay.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, which took place before the Ratner scandal, Murphy discussed how comedy has changed over the years and noted that audiences are much more likely to be upset by topics that once may have been seen as less politically charged.
Discussing why he quit standup, Murphy told the magazine:
"Nowadays, comics say something that's offensive and they have got to apologize to everybody. How do you even write an act and go into a club when everybody has their cameras, it's on YouTube, if you say something offensive, you've got to apologize to everyone? How do you come up with anything?"
Brian Grazer has replaced Ratner as producer of the 84th annual Academy Awards and Billy Crystal is now set to host the show next February.
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more