The entertainment world has always, at one point or the other, been home to scandals of different kinds. Thus, it is no surprise that actor Brendan Fraser will not be gracing the upcoming Golden Globe Awards, organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFP), even if his film, The Whale, gets nominated for an award category.
His decision is based on events centered around his allegations of sexual assault against a one-time HFPA president, Philip Berk.
Brendan Fraser explains his reason
The 53-year-old actor had, in 2018, alleged that Philip Berk indecently touched him at a summer event organized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Fraser narrated his experience in an interview with GQ stating that the former president grabbed his butt instead of shaking his outstretched hands.
“His left hand reaches around grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” Fraser detailed. “I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.”
The HFPA outrightly condemned its president’s actions, reiterating its commitment to the fight against sexual harassment but later sought ways to cover up the incident. “I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he remarked.
Brendan Fraser speaks about the cover-up
The leadership of the HFPA, embarrassed by the negative PR the news might give them, appealed to Fraser to sign a statement that makes light of Philip Berk’s act as “intended to be taken as a joke.” The actor, however, refused to do their bidding.
“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,” Fraser revealed in a new interview with GQ. “My mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me a lot of things, but not that.”
Brendan Fraser’s allegation opens up more scandals in HFPA
Since Fraser’s allegations, the HFPA has been the subject of more scandals. A report by the Los Angeles Times in 2021 accused the organization of its non-inclusion of Black people among the secret decision-making panel.
It noted that the selection of movies for the nomination was rigged as the Netflix movie Emily in Paris was nominated twice despite criticisms from viewers. Investigation revealed that more than 30 members of the selection team went on an all-expense paid trip to Paris, fully catered for by the movie’s producers.
He is committed to not attending the event
The board of the HFPA has initiated a process to change some of its policies. One such is the induction of 21 new members of the selection team to bridge the diversity gap tagged as the “most diverse class to date.”
Despite this development, Fraser is still not impressed with the organization as he claims that “time will tell” if the HFPA is fully committed to fully implementing the changes made. He is also maintaining his stance of not attending the event, which will hold in January 2023.