Screen actor Brendan Fraser will not “participate” in 2023’s Golden Globes award ceremony, even if he wins recognition for his comeback role as a 600-pound English teacher in ‘The Whale’, he told GQ magazine in a Wednesday interview. Fraser says the reason for his absence is sexual abuse by the former president of the organization that hosts the awards.
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Fraser told the magazine, explaining that he would not “participate … because of the history that I have with them. And my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite.”
In 2018, Fraser accused Philip Berk, former president of the association, of groping him at a luncheon in 2003. While Berk initially denied the claim, he later acknowledged making a written apology to the actor.
The HFPA closed ranks around its former director, suggesting the actor sign a statement reading “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 declined, and Berk remained a member in good standing of the organization until 2021, when he was ejected for calling Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement.”
Last year, an LA Times investigation revealed none of the HFPA’s 87 members were black, leading to a protest campaign by advocacy group Time’s Up featuring over a dozen actors a week before the 2021 ceremony. That year’s Globes were the lowest-rated in the organization’s history.
The organization scrambled to address its perceived lack of diversity, promising a month after the dismal awards showing to add “at least 13” black members. It was at this point that Berk made his statement on Black Lives Matter, leading to his expulsion and an announcement by several A-list actors that they would no longer work with the group. NBC, the Golden Globes’ official broadcaster, revealed it would not host or air the 2022 ceremony, and the HFPA was forced to take the year off.
The 2023 awards will be the first since the association adopted a “diversity, equity and inclusion” program requiring members to participate in monthly workshops and complete mandatory sexual harassment training.