There is already talk of actor Brendan Fraser getting award nominations for his comeback role in “The Whale” — even before its December 9 premiere. But if that role gets him an invite to the 2023 Golden Globe Awards, Fraser said he’s not going.
The reason why? He pins it on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that puts on the show.
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Fraser told GQ. “No, I will not participate.”
“It’s because of the history that I have with them,” he continued. “And my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me a lot of things, but not that.”
That history he’s referencing dates back to 2003.
In another interview with GQ in 2018, Fraser said that was when Philip Berk, then president of the HFPA,as they were leaving a luncheon.
“His left hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint,” Fraser told the outlet. “And he starts moving it around.”
Fraser said he removed Berk’s hand, but that the experience left him feeling panicked and “ill.”
“I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat,” he said. “I thought I was going to cry.”
Fraser spoke with an independent investigator after going public with his claims. Soon after, he says the HFPA asked him to sign a joint statement. That statement, Fraser told GQ, said, “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.”
the release. Berk later told GQ he remained a member of the organization and received no disciplinary action.
CBS News has reached out to HFPA for comment about Fraser’s accusations.
Berk remained a member of the organization until 2021, when the HFPA closed his membership after he sent an email referring to Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate movement.” That same year, The Los Angeles Times found that the organization had no Black voting members and was wrought with allegations of “ethical and financial conflicts.” plans to air the show.
Last November, the organization unveiled a set of reforms to “change its structure from top to bottom.” Those reforms including having more people of color in “decision-making” positions, modernizing its rules and restructuring oversight. All members of the organization also had to undergo sexual harassment training.
Fraser told GQ he isn’t so sure he believes in those reforms “at the moment.”
“Maybe time will tell if they’re going to … I don’t know what they’re going to do,” he said. “I don’t know.”
To this day, Fraser says HFPA has yet to apologize for what happened, a claim which the organization disputes and says they have done twice. Berk told GQ he wrote a letter apologizing to Fraser in the past about the incident, but that the letter admitted “no wrongdoing.”
Fraser said any apology would have to be meaningful.
“It would have to be, I don’t know, what’s the word I’m looking for … sincere?” he said. “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.”
Golden Globes aside, Fraser says he’s committed to doing everything he can to advocate for “The Whale,” and will gladly pursue other awards opportunities that may arise.
“I owe it to myself. I owe it to filmmakers,” he said. “…I owe it to my kids. This is my shot.”