Brendan Fraser has been enjoying a career renaissance these days, including his critically acclaimed turn in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. There’s already award show buzz for his performance. Fraser recently revealed there’s one ceremony he will not be attending, and it has everything to do with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
Fraser Points To ‘History’ With HFPA
In an interview with GQ, Fraser discussed the possibility of being nominated for a Golden Globe and why he will not be attending the award ceremony if he is. “I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association [the organization that puts on the Golden Globes] than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he explained. “No, I will not participate.”
In 2018, Fraser said that he was sexually assaulted by Philip Berk, the then-president of of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, at a 2003 event. He explained that the assault, his divorce from actress Afton Smith, and the death of his mother led him to fall into a depression, which in turn led to a downturn in his career.
Berk has denied the allegation, but the HFPA issued a statement saying they stand “firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in [Fraser’s 2018 GQ interview].”
Fraser Says He ‘Knew They Would Close Ranks’
In his most recent interview with the magazine, Fraser said that the HFPA promised they would investigate his claims, but instead asked him to release a joint statement that 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.”
Fraser refused to co-sign on this statement. Berk remained a voting member of the HFPA until 2021, when he was expelled for comments homemade about the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I knew they would close ranks,” Fraser said of the organization. “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.”
It’s been a few years since Fraser’s comments, but the actor shared that he still feels nervous discussing the topic. “I would admit to feeling a little bit of a heart palpitation discussing this with you right now,” he shared.
“But it’s okay because my hope is that I can be recognized at this time in my life and career for my professional efforts, rather than the trope of the comeback kid as being a standard in culture, sports, coming from behind, being written off and then coming back,” he concluded. Many admire Fraser for his bravery in coming forward, as well as for his continued commitment to standing up against the HFPA.