Brendan Fraser Is Boycotting One Of The Biggest Hollywood Ceremonies

Because of the sexual assault Brendan Fraser accused former HFPA President Phillip Berk of, the actor refuses to attend the Golden Globes.

By Gareth Skarka | Published

Brendan Fraser, who is receiving accolades for his performance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale (in theaters December 9th), has told GQ for its cover story this month that he will absolutely not be attending the Golden Globes ceremony in January if he is nominated for Best Actor, the award for which is widely considered a frontrunner.

His reason for the boycott is obvious for those who have followed Brendan Fraser’s career. In 2018, the actor revealed in another GQ interview that Phillip Berk, former president and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — the organization behind the Golden Globes — groped and assaulted the actor in 2003; an allegation that Berk has denied.

“It’s because of the history that I have with them,” Fraser explained. “And my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me a lot of things, but not that.” Stating that he has more history with the HFPA than he has respect for the HFPA, he reiterated “No, I will not participate.”

Brendan Fraser said that after promising to investigate, the HFPA ultimately came back to him with a proposed joint statement that said that Ber’ks behavior was intended to be taken as a joke, and not as a sexual advance. Fraser refused to sign the statement. Berk remained 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 email to fellow members.

brendan fraser
Brendan Fraser in the trailer for The Whale

Fraser maintains that the HPFA have never offered him an apology, which the organization has denied, telling GQ that they’ve apologized twice — although Berk admitted in 2018 that the so-called apology letter that he sent to Fraser contained no admission of wrongdoing. “I knew they would close ranks, Fraser said. “I knew they would kick the can down the road.”

For Brendan Fraser, making his allegations public was a largely positive experience, leading him to find the strength to reclaim his career, however the star of The Mummy has said it also left him feeling somewhat exposed. Overall, though, he found the interview liberating, saying it made him feel like a weight had been removed, and helped to bring him a measure of closure to the situation.

Still, even a few years after the publication of his allegations, the incident remains difficult to discuss, Fraser acknowledged. “I would admit feeling a little bit of heart palpitation discussing this with you right now,” he told the reporter. But Brendan Fraser said that his hope is that he can be recognized now for his professional efforts, rather than as the trope of the comeback kid, coming from behind, being written off and then coming back.

While the Hollywood Foreign Press Association escaped Brendan Fraser’s allegations largely unscathed, the organization found itself in hot water over another scandal just a few years later. In 2021, the Los Angeles Times published an exposé revealing that the HFPA included no Black members.

Since then, the organization has announced initiatives including the creation of an oversight committee and a partnership with the NAACP. They also added new members to the ranks, virtually doubling the organizations’ size, including voting members from diverse backgrounds. While the efforts led NBC to bring back the televised ceremony in January of 2023 (they cancelled the broadcast in 2022), Brendan Fraser remains dubious of the organization’s sincerity.

Asked if he believed in these reforms, the actor told GQ, “At the moment, no.”