LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Brendan Fraser onstage during "The Whale" UK Premiere during the 66th BFI London Film Festival at The Royal Festival Hall on October 11, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BFI)

Brendan Fraser Won’t Attend Golden Globes if Nominated, and for a Very Good Reason

Brendan Fraser’s performance in the upcoming film The Whale has been considered a key part of his in-progress renaissance as an actor and he is expected to rack up multiple award nominations. However, there is one ceremony he will not be attending, even if nominated: The Golden Globes.

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Preluding his professional resurfacing, during the #MeToo movement, Fraser came forward about being sexually assaulted and blacklisted as a result. In a 2018 interview with GQ titled “What Ever Happened To Brendan Fraser?” the actor broke his silence and said he was sexually assaulted by former Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) president Philip Berk.

“His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.” Fraser says that in this moment he was overcome with panic and fear.

Fraser eventually was able, he says, to remove Berk’s hand. “I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.” He rushed out of the room, outside, past a police officer he couldn’t quite bring himself to confess to, and then home, where he told his then wife, Afton, what had happened. “I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me,” he says now.

Berk called the action a “joke” and even mentioned the incident in a previous memoir where he claims he “pinched” Fraser’s behind. Clearly erasing and not understanding that unwanted touching from someone in any way can be a traumatic experience. Following the incident, the HFPA said that it took the allegations seriously and would be looking into it, but according to Fraser he hasn’t been offered an apology.

In a recent GQ cover story interview, Fraser said that if he is nominated (and he is expected to be) it would be hypocritical for him to go.

“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he said. “No, I will not participate.” He then explained that the HFPA came to him with a proposed joint statement that would read, according to him: “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 cosign the statement.

Berk remained a voting member of the HFPA until 2021, when he shared an article calling Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” in an email to other members of the organization. Which I’m assuming he felt bold enough to do because at the time the HFPA had, according the LA Times, no Black members.

If the HFPA does decide to apologize, Fraser says “it would be my responsibility to take a look at it and make a determination at that time, if that became the situation. 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.”

It is a hope that he shouldn’t have to hold out for, but a reminder of how Hollywood’s #MeToo reckoning was shallow at best.

(via EW, image: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for BFI)


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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.