Billy Crystal is returning to host the 2012 Oscars, Access Hollywood has confirmed.
A spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed that Crystal will step in for Eddie Murphy, who pulled out of the hosting gig after Brett Ratner stepped down as producer of the show. Ratner stepped down on Tuesday, just days after the director used a homophobic slur during a Q&A session following a screening of his latest film, “Tower Heist,” which stars Murphy.
On Thursday Crystal Tweeted, “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.”
Crystal also released a statement on Thursday, through the Academy.
“Some of the best moments of my career have happened on the Oscar stage. I am thrilled to be back there,” his statement read.
The 2012 ceremony will mark Crystal’s ninth stint as host of the annual ceremony. He last hosted in 2004.
Earlier on Thursday, Access Hollywood correspondent Tim Vincent spoke to new Oscar producer Brian Grazer, who said he was looking for a host hungry for the gig.
“It’s the best job in the world, it’s a hard job,” Grazer said on Thursday in Los Angeles. “You really want someone who’s almost looking at it as a sort of civil servant, where they’re feeling like, ‘We’re thrilled to be here, dying to do it, waking up early, I’m thinking about it all night.’”
On Thursday evening, Grazer, through the Academy, released a statement about his new host.
“Like so many others, I’ve been eager to see Billy host again,” Grazer’s statement read. “It’s very gratifying that he agreed to do it with Don and me at the helm.”
In February at the Governor’s Ball following the Academy Awards, Access’ Shaun Robinson asked Crystal if he wanted to host again after receiving such a warm welcome from the crowd during a tribute to Bob Hope during the 2011 ceremony.
“I really loved doing my minute-and-a-half and I worried about it the same way that I do when I do it for three hours,” he said at the time. “It was very emotional to feel the love from the audience when I walked out there again on that stage. It took my breath away.”
Adding at the time, “I don’t know [if I’d host again.] That’s a year away or more.”
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