Golden Globes 2023: Oscar Frontrunner Brendan Fraser (The Whale) Will Not Participate

Fraser Says He Will “Not Participate” in 2023 Golden Globes Ceremony: “My Mother Didn’t Raise a Hypocrite”

The actor, getting awards buzz for his performance in ‘The Whale,’ opened up about his history and current relationship with Globes organization the Hollywood Foreign Press after claiming in 2018 that since-expelled member Philip Berk had groped him.

Brendan Fraser says he has no plans to attend the Golden Globes, even if he gets nominated for his acclaimed turn in The Whale.

As part of his Man of the Year cover story with GQ Magazine, the actor opens up about his life since he said in 2018 that former Hollywood Foreign Press Association member Philip Berk — who was expelled from the organization behind the Golden Globes in 2021 for comments about the Black Lives Matter movement — had groped him.

The actor admits to “feeling a little bit of a heart palpitation discussing this,” adding that talking about his experience can still trigger him, “but it’s OK 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.”

Annual Golden Globe Awards

 

The Whale

 

During the discussion, the Whale star — getting awards buzz for his portrayal of the film’s reclusive English teacher trying to reconnect with his estranged teen daughter — also shares how his awards campaigning season would be impacted by his relationship with the HFPA, which he noted had not improved since he spoke out.

“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Fraser says when asked about whether he’d be involved with a Golden Globes ceremony if nominated. “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,” he adds.

When asked about the organization’s response, or lack thereof, when he opened up about his experience with Berk, Fraser says the Globes likely proceeded with that year’s awards ceremony “because it was too prickly or sharp-edged or icky for people to want to go first and invest emotionally in the situation.”

It was a reaction the actor says he expected, despite him urging Berk to resign. “I knew they would close ranks,” he explains. “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.”

During the interview, Fraser also expounds on the events that followed his allegation, including an investigation and a statement from the HFPA, which recently found itself embroiled in controversy after a 2021 Los Angeles Times investigation accused the group of self-dealing and other unethical behavior including accepting bribes.

Within that report was also the revelation that the HFPA, which then consisted of 87 international journalists, had no Black members.

Following the publication of Fraser’s 2018 interview, the HFPA issued a statement that it stood “against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described” before moving forward with an investigation, which involved an independent investigator interviewing the actor. The result of that was, while the organization determined the incident Fraser reported had occurred, it “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.”

At the time, Fraser was asked to sign the press release as a joint statement but refused. The disgraced Berk — a 44-year member and eight-term past president of the group who was expelled in April 2021 after emailing an article to his fellow members describing Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate movement” — told GQ that he had faced no disciplinary action from the organization.

“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,” Fraser says. “I would expect that it would be something that would be meaningful for them too.”

While Fraser has no plans to campaign for the Globes or attend the 2023 ceremony, which is set for Jan 10 after going unaired on NBC last year following the ethics investigation and Hollywood boycott, Fraser is still looking forward to the rest of the awards season, including an Oscars run.

“I owe it to myself. I owe it to the filmmakers. I know I owe it to those fans who paid to come and see me and stand in line in the sun and, you know, all of that. I owe it to my kids,” he says. “This is my shot.”