Brendan Fraser, who’s receiving career-best reviews for his Hollywood comeback in the starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, said that he won’t be attending the upcoming Golden Globes ceremony in January if he is nominated. Fraser, 53, told GQ for its cover story today (November 16), “I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he said bluntly. “No, I will not participate.”
“My mother didn’t raise a hypocrite,” he said. “You can call me a lot of things, but not that.” In 2018, Fraser made headlines for another GQ profile titled: “What Ever Happened To Brendan Fraser” in which he opened up for the first time about a disturbing allegation against Philip Berk, a former president and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the organization behind the Golden Globes). The Mummy star accused Berk of groping and assaulting him in 2003 at a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel. (Berk has denied the allegation) The experience, Fraser said at the time, “made me retreat,” adding that he felt like “something had been taken away from me.”
The incident has followed him in his life ever since, in both good and bad ways. “I think the feeling that I have is, this is a hard one to describe, and not to be vulgar, but it’s like: I’ve seen you naked,” Fraser said. “It’s like people know what you look like, they know the story about you.” However, he found that telling his story to the world was “liberating. It was a weight removed.”
After the article came out, the HFPA issued a statement saying, in part, “The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article.” Fraser said that after promising to investigate, the HFPA came back to him with a proposed joint statement that he said read: “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 and 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 his fellow members. A few years later in 2021, the Los Angeles Times published an exposé revealing that the HFPA’s 87-person votership included no Black members. The show went on to register record-low ratings amid celebrity pushback, and NBC ultimately decided it wouldn’t air the Globes in 2022.
Fraser also maintained the HFPA still never offered him an apology, which the organization denied, reportedly telling the publication they’ve apologized twice. However, Berk admitted in 2018 that an “apology letter” he sent to Fraser contained no admission of wrongdoing.
If the HFPA did attempt to make amends, Fraser said, “according to rules of engagement, 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. But it’s not about me.” Fraser noted that wasn’t the only person wronged by the group, so if they were to make an apology, “I would expect that it would be something that would be meaningful for them too.”
In The Whale, in theaters December 9, Fraser plays a 600-pound writing instructor named Charlie who is approaching the end of his life and is desperate to connect with his absent daughter (Sadie Sink) and ex-wife (Samantha Morton) before he dies. The events in the film mostly take place in one room for the course of a week. Fraser said of the film, “I don’t know if this is gonna give me some big redemption in my own life. I know that I’m proud of the work that I did, and it’s enough. It’ll live on long after me. And that’s good. The other stuff, maybe not so much. That’ll live on too, but…I think I just have to live for what’s happening for me now.”
Watch the trailer below: