Brendan Fraser stands his Me Too ground and refuses to attend Golden Globes, even if he's nominated

“It's because of the history that I have with them. And my mother didn't raise a hypocrite"

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published November 16, 2022 5:45PM (EST)

Brendan Fraser attends a screening of "The Whale" during the 2022 Montclair Film Festival at The Wellmont Theatre on October 23, 2022 in Montclair, New Jersey. (Manny Carabel/Getty Images)
Brendan Fraser attends a screening of "The Whale" during the 2022 Montclair Film Festival at The Wellmont Theatre on October 23, 2022 in Montclair, New Jersey. (Manny Carabel/Getty Images)

Brendan Fraser isn't budging when it comes to abandoning an organization that he claims protected itself over those it's supposed to honor.

In a new GQ cover profile, the actor – who is one of the Best Actor frontrunners for his performance in Darren Aronofsky's "The Whale" – said he "will not participate" at this year's Golden Globe Awards, slated for Jan. 10, even if he does secure a nomination.

"I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," Fraser said, condemning the organization that stages the Golden Globes and bestows the awards. "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," he added.

In 2018, "The Mummy" actor alleged that former HFPA President Philip Berk had groped and assaulted him at a 2003 luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel — a claim that Berk later disputed. Fraser recounted the experience, saying then that it "made me retreat" and made him feel like "something had been taken away from me." 

"I felt ill," he recalled to GQ. "I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry. I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me."

Following Fraser's accusation, the HFPA said in a statement that it "stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article." The organization also said it would never allow Berk in a room with Fraser again and — after an investigation into the incident — asked Fraser to sign a joint statement, which he refused to do. The statement read: "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."

"I knew they would close ranks," Fraser said of the HFPA. "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."

While Fraser struggled to revive his acting career, Berk remained unscathed as a voting member of the HFPA. But things took a turn in 2021, when the Los Angeles Times published an exposé revealing that HFPA had no Black members. That same year, Berk was expelled from his position after he sent an email to his co-workers criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement as a "racist hate movement" and criticizing BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors for buying a home in Topanga Canyon, California.


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A representative for HFPA also told the LA Times that the organization is "committed to addressing" its recent controversies:  

"We recognize the HFPA's commitment to ongoing change and look forward to welcoming back the Golden Globes to NBC for its landmark 80th Anniversary in January 2023," Frances Berwick, chairman of Entertainment Networks, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a September press release.

In his recent profile, Fraser said that if the HFPA did attempt to make amends, he would reconsider his relationship with both the organization and the Golden Globes.

"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," Fraser said. "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. But it's not about me."


By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon, covering Culture and Food. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.

MORE FROM Joy Saha


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Aggregate Brendan Fraser Golden Globes Awards Hfpa #metoo Philip Berk Sexual Assault