Brendan Fraser, who has garnered considerable awards buzz (and a Golden Globe nomination) for his starring turn in “The Whale,” says he does not plan on attending this year’s Globes ceremony, citing his “history” with the organization.
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. No, I will not participate,” the actor explained in an interview with GQ in November.
Fraser is seemingly referring to the 2018 allegations the actor made against the former president of the HFPA, Philip Berk, whom he alleges groped him at an event in 2003.
After Fraser’s allegations, the HFPA released a statement that said it was “investigating further details surrounding the incident” and that it “stands firmly against sexual harassment.”
Behind the scenes, Fraser claimed to GQ, the organization ultimately came back to him and proposed issuing a joint statement that said, according to him, “Although it was concluded that Mr. Berk inappropriately touched Mr. Fraser, the evidence supports that it was intended to be taken as a joke and not as a sexual advance.”
Berk confirmed to CNN that a joint statement had been presented to Fraser and that it was a summary of an independent investigation commissioned by the HFPA. Ultimately, it was released as a statement by the group without Fraser’s co-signature.
Berk also reasserted his opposition to Fraser’s accusation, calling it “absurd.”
After Fraser’s allegations, Berk remained an active member of the HFPA until 2021, when he was expelled for disseminating an article to fellow HFPA members that referred to Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate movement.”
Further HFPA controversy: The Golden Globes, long considered the lead-up to the Oscars, also came under fire in 2021 after it was revealed by the Los Angeles Times that the association contained no Black voting members.
Despite the organization’s attempts to address the controversy and other ethics concerns, NBC severed broadcast ties with the organization, pending the group’s efforts to enact “meaningful reform.” The 2022 Golden Globes were not aired on television. NBC announced in September that the show would return to the air in 2023, citing the HFPA’s “commitment to ongoing change,” adding that it would be a one-year agreement.