The 2023 Golden Globes nominations are not out yet but one of the Best Actor frontrunners is none other than Brendan Fraser who has received immense acclaim for his performance in The Whale. However, the actor has already signaled his intention to boycott the ceremony. His refusal is based on his sexual assault allegations against Philip Berkm , a former president and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Golden Globes.
Fraser, who is receiving his career-best reviews for his dramatic turn in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale told a leading magazine that he will not attend the Golden Globes ceremony in January if he is nominated, as he is widely expected to be. He told the magazine, “I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. No, I will not participate. It's because of the history that I have with them. And my mother didn't raise a hypocrite. You can call me a lot of things, but not that.”
Philip Berk and Brendan Fraser
In 2018, Fraser made headlines when he first opened up about his ups and downs in Hollywood, including the toll stunt work took on his body. He also accused Philip Berk, a former president and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Golden Globes, of groping and assaulting him in 2003. Berk had denied the allegation but HFPA issued a statement after Fraser’s article that read in part, “The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article." Fraser said in the latest profile that after promising to investigate, the HFPA ultimately came back to him with a proposed joint statement that would read, per the actor,” 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.”
Fraser refused to cosign the statement and Berk remained a voting member of HFPA until 2021 when he was expelled for sharing an article that described Black Lives Matter as “racist hate movement” in an email to his fellow members. Fraser further said about the HFPA to the magazine, “I knew they would close ranks. I knew they would kick the can down the road. I knew they would get ahead of the story. I knew that I certainly had no future with that system as it was."
When asked why his allegations failed to provoke more of a response from HFPA, Fraser said, “I think it was because it was too prickly or sharp-edged or icky for people to want to go first and invest emotionally in the situation." He said the incident “made me retreat” at the time, feeling like "something had been taken away from me." Shortly after the interview went viral, Fraser "heard from college friends, people I hadn't worked with or seen going back 30 years of my career." He remembered learning the article was trending on Twitter and thinking, "Oh, my God. Oh, f—, what have I done now?" He recalled: "It was people saying they like me. And they referenced that piece. I was like, Is this good, is this problematic? I don't know. What did I do to earn this?"
Fraser said that although making his allegation public has been mostly a positive experience, it has also left him somewhat exposed. He said, “I think the feeling that I have is, this is a hard one to describe, and not to be vulgar, but it's like: I've seen you naked. It's like people know what you look like, they know the story about you. That doesn't mean I don't get triggered every now and then, but then I come hang out back here. My hope is that I can be recognized at this time in my life and career for my professional efforts, rather than the trope of the comeback kid as being a standard in culture, sports, coming from behind, being written off and then coming back."
The actor also maintained that the HFPA never offered him an apology, which the organization denied. However, the magazine reported that Berk admitted in 2018 that a so-called apology letter that he sent to Fraser contained no admission of wrongdoing. In case the HFPA does attempt to apologize, Fraser said, “According to rules of engagement, it would be my responsibility to take a look at it and make a determination at that time, if that became the situation. And it would have to be, I don't know, what's the word I'm looking for... sincere? I would want some gesture of making medicine out of poison somehow. I don't know what that is. But that would be my hope. I would expect that it would be something that would be meaningful for them too."