New Oscars producer couldn't say no

Nov. 12, 2011 at 12:09 PM
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HOLLYWOOD, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Brian Grazer says he couldn't really say no when he was asked to step in as replacement producer for the Oscars telecast.

Grazer was tabbed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after Brett Ratner and his designated host Eddie Murphy resigned suddenly.

"When (Academy president) Tom Sherak called, I just said yes right away," Grazer told Entertainment Weekly. "I didn't think about how hard it would be. It was almost like a civic duty -- I just had to go ahead and do it."

Grazer said he decided not to try to convince Murphy to come back to the show. He said he had earlier told Billy Crystal he would want him as emcee should he ever produce an Oscars telecast. He also did not want to have to convince Murphy to come back to a gig he had already rejected.

"I just don't think this is the kind of thing you should try to persuade anybody to do," Grazer said. "They should either be eager to do it and excited about doing it -- and then go ahead and do it -- or they shouldn't."

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