Brendan Fraser will not attend Golden Globes even if nominated for Best Actor
LOS ANGELES – Canadian-American actor Brendan Fraser says he will not attend January’s Golden Globe Awards even if he is nominated, due to a previous allegation of sexual assault he made against Mr Philip Berk, the former president of show organiser Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
Widely tipped to be a nominee for Best Actor for his comeback role in the drama film The Whale (2022), Fraser said in an interview in GQ magazine on Wednesday that he will not be attending the awards ceremony.
His portrayal of a 270kg gay man seeking reconciliation with his teenage daughter has been critically acclaimed since the Darren Aronofsky-directed movie premiered in September.
“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,” the 53-year-old said. “And my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me a lot of things, but not that.”
Fraser had previously accused Mr Berk, 89, in a 2018 GQ profile, saying the latter groped and assaulted him in 2003. Mr Berk has denied the allegation.
Mr Berk was a voting member of the HFPA until 2021, when he was expelled for sharing an article describing Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate movement” in an e-mail to fellow members.
In the latest GQ article, Fraser said the HFPA promised to investigate and came back to him with a proposed joint statement: “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 said he refused to co-sign the statement. However, he continued to attend the Golden Globes after the alleged incident as recently as 2010, when Mr Berk was still president.
Best known for his role in The Mummy movie trilogy (1999 to 2008), Fraser saw his career take a downturn in the past decade due to depression, injuries from stunt work and, he claimed, being blacklisted for speaking out.
However, he said he found closure in going public: “It was a weight removed.”