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HFPA, group behind Golden Globes, denounces ex-president for reportedly sending email equating BLM to Manson cult

HFPA, group behind Golden Globes, denounces ex-president for reportedly sending email equating BLM to Manson cult
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which awards the Golden Globes, has condemned its eight-term president Philip Berk for reportedly circulating an email that accused BLM of racism and compared it to the Manson murders.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Berk sent an email to the association’s staff and members on Sunday which contained a post that called Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” and described its co-founder Patrisse Cullors as “self-proclaimed ‘trained Marxist.’”

The paper said the text in the email appears to have been taken from an article originally published on conservative commentator David Horowitz’s Freedom Center website, FrontPage Magazine, on April 12.

The article criticized and mocked Cullors for buying a $1.4 million home in the high-end “mostly white” LA enclave Topanga Canyon. Among other things, it accused BLM of wanting to start a “race war,” equating the group to cult leader Charles Manson, whose followers committed several murders in Hollywood in the late 1960s.

“Black Lives Matter is carrying on Manson’s work,” the article read.

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Cullors previously admitted to having received Marxist training during her years as an activist and community organizer. “I do believe in Marxism,” she said in a December 2020 video on her YouTube channel. “We were taught about systems that were criticizing capitalism.”

Berk, 88, did not comment on the situation. The HFPA, which is mostly known for running the prestigious annual Golden Globe film and TV awards, elected Berk to serve as its one-year president on eight occasions – most recently for the year 2010-2011.

LA Times cited emails by several HFPA members protesting against the article supposedly shared by Berk, with some calling it “racist” and “deeply offensive.”

HFPA released a short statement on Monday, saying that the views expressed in the article circulated by Berk do not reflect the group’s views “in any way, shape or form.” The association called the language and content of the article “unacceptable.”

Variety magazine cited a source saying HFPA was discussing possible action against Berk and will bring up his case in future meetings.

HFPA was heavily criticized this year for not having black journalists among its 87 members –to the point that comedian Tina Fey joked about the lack of diversity within the group’s ranks when she co-hosted the Golden Globes ceremony in February. The association responded by promising to bring in black members and people from other “underrepresented backgrounds.”

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