Brendan Fraser, the resurgent leading man who is a favorite to receive accolades this awards season for his performance in The Whale, has pledged not to attend the Golden Globes, even if he’s nominated.
Part of the reason Fraser has appeared infrequently on the big screen — or, in his words, “retreated” — over the past two decades stems from the actor’s accusations that he was groped by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s then-president Philip Berk in 2003 (the HFPA is the voting body of the Golden Globes).
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Fraser told GQ when asked whether he’d attend the Golden Globes. “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.”
Following an investigation by the HFPA in 2018 — which is when Fraser revealed his allegation against Berk — the organization deemed that while “Berk inappropriately touched Mr. Fraser, the evidence supports that it was intended to be taken as a joke and not as a sexual advance.” The HFPA — long plagued by the fact that the voting body had no Black members until 2021 — didn’t expel Berk entirely until 2021, after he made remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement, Variety reports.
Although the HFPA has parted ways with Berk and made significant, more inclusive changes to the organization, Fraser said he’d need to see those changes in action before ever attending the awards ceremony again.
“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 told GQ. “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.”
Fraser, who already won the Toronto International Film Festival’s Tribute Award for his role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale — due out Dec. 9 — is also among the frontrunners to receive a Best Actor nomination at the 2023 Academy Awards.