Murphy's withdrawal follows Brett Ratner's decision to step down as producer of the telecast. Ratner, who had been in the news for making a gay slur, said in an earlier statement, "It was a dumb way of expressing myself...Everyone who knows me knows that I don't have a prejudiced bone in my body. But as a storyteller I should have been much more thoughtful about the power of language and my choice of words."
In a Nov. 9 statement Sherak said, "I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well."
Murphy added, "First and foremost 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."
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented Feb. 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center and will be televised live by the ABC Television Network.