After an untelevised ceremony in 2021, The Golden Globes returns to NBC on January 10. This follows a widespread boycott of the event after a Los Angeles Times report accused The Hollywood Foreign Press Association of a lack of diversity and financial conflict within the organization. Although the HFPA billed itself as a diverse group, the report confirmed longstanding rumors that the board had no black members, among other accusations, and the network pulled back from broadcasting the event as a result.
Although the awards show, hosted this year by Jerrod Carmichael, and its organizers have announced it would “eliminate ethical conflicts” after the controversy, The Whale nominee Brendan Fraser confirmed in November that he would not be attending.
The 54-year-old actor, who is nominated for his first-ever Golden Globe Award, revealed in a 2018 GQ interview that former HFPA president Phillip Berk sexually assaulted him in 2003.
“His left-hand reaches around, grabs my a** cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” Fraser said. “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,” Fraser added. Berk contended the story, saying that “Mr. Fraser’s version is a total fabrication.”
The 88-year-old South African was not expelled from the HFPA until April 2021, after emailing members of the organization claiming Black Lives Matter was a “racist hate movement.”
Despite being recognized by the Golden Globe Awards and the efforts of the HFPA to improve, Fraser told GQ he does not believe their reform claims. “I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. No, I will not participate,” he said.
“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,” Fraser added.
The actor also added that his boycott isn’t just about him, saying there are others who share his story, and that if HFPA were to change, he’d want the change to be meaningful for them as well.
Spanning the ‘90s and into the early 2000s, Fraser was a top-billing actor in Hollywood, starring in blockbuster films such as The Mummy. Eventually, the actor faded out of the limelight and took a backseat from general audiences. It wasn’t until he nabbed his current series Doom Patrol and was cast in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale as Charlie that he would attain leading man status once again.
The film debuted at the Venice International Film Festival, receiving a six-minute standing ovation. As of now, the A24 film has received strong reviews, most of which praise Fraser’s performance.