I predicted yesterday morning that the Brett Ratner “fags” controversy would last between 24 to 72 hours. And I honestly though it might start to go away last night when Academy bigwig Tom Sherak told Deadline‘s Mike Fleming that AMPAS would let Ratner slide as long as he doesn’t toss any more verbal stink bombs between now and February’s Oscar telecast.

But less than an hour ago TheWrap‘s Steve Pond reported not only that “a tense silence” is seeping out of the Motion Picture Academy “as the drumbeat of disapproval grows” over Ratner’s public statements over the past few days”, and that the org “declined comment on Tuesday as word spread of a sexually-explicit interview with shock jock Howard Stern on Monday.”

I posted three YouTube audio-only clips of Ratner’s Stern visit yesterday.

Pond also reports that he’s “surveyed a number of Academy members on Tuesday morning, [and that] none were willing to support Ratner. The ones who didn’t shy away from the question altogether said the producer had to go.”

On top of which Salon‘s respected Andrew O’Hehir posted a “Ratner’s got to go” essay this morning. “So far the Academy seems to be standing behind him, after insisting he issue the usual wimpy non-apology,” O’Hehir noted. “[But] that’s not enough: He should quit or be fired, and the Academy needs to hear that loud and clear from the press and the public.

“I’m not proposing blacklisting Brett Ratner, or depriving him of his livelihood or his inalienable right to inflict stupid comedies on us every couple of years. (If rehearsals are for fags, maybe he needs more fags on the set.) It isn’t censorship or prudishness to say that he no longer has the right to be a public face of the film industry, which, amid all its crass commercialism and anti-intellectualism, has long prided itself on providing a nurturing environment for gay people when the larger society was overwhelmingly hostile.

“It isn’t complicated: There’s a line there, a line consisting of common decency and ordinary courtesy, and Brett Ratner has repeatedly crossed it. Let’s make clear to the Academy that he’s got to go.”

When and from where will the next shoe drop?