It’s still tantalizing to think how much more electric and entertaining the 84th Annual Academy Awards telecast could have been with Eddie Murphy as host instead of Billy Crystal. As part of an extensive THR interview marking today’s official changing of the AMPAS presidential guard, Tom Sherak (pictured) says dealing with the fallout from Brett Ratner’s ArcLight Q&A remarks was not nearly as hard as people made it seem.

However, he tells Alex Ben Block those events did lead him to divert from his usual M.O.:

“I remember it was the first time in my career that I didn’t return a press call. The first time in all the years I’ve been out here, since ’83, the first time. … If a press person calls me, I give them the respect of calling them back. I do. They’ve got a job to do.”

Read more