We’re still weeks away from learning about the nominees for the 2023 Golden Globes, but one of the frontrunners for Best Actor is already indicating he plans to boycott the ceremony.
Brendan Fraser, who is getting the best reviews of his career for his dramatic turn in Darren Aronofsky’s The whale (in theaters Dec. 9), narrated GK for his cover story on Wednesday that he will not be attending the Golden Globes ceremony in January if he is nominated, as is widely expected.
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he said flatly. “No, I’m not in.”
His reasoning, for those who have followed the former heartthrob’s rollercoaster career, is clear: “It’s because of the history I have with them,” he explained. “And my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me anything, but not that.’
In 2018, Fraser made headlines for another GK profile in which he first talked about his ups and downs in Hollywood, including the toll years of stunt work had taken on his body. He also shared a disturbing allegation, accusing Philip Berk, a former president and member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the Golden Globes, of groping and assaulting him in 2003. (Berk has denied the allegation.)
After the article came out, the HFPA issued a statement saying, among other things, “The HFPA is firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article.” Fraser said in the latest profile that after promising to investigate, the HFPA eventually got back to him with a proposed joint statement that the actor says would read: “While it was concluded that Mr. Berk touched Mr. Fraser inappropriately, Mr. proof that it was intended as a joke and not as sexual advances.” Fraser refused to co-sign the statement. Berk remained a voting member of the HFPA until 2021, when he was suspended for sharing an article describing Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate movement” in an email to his fellow members.
“I knew they were going to close ranks,” Fraser said of the HFPA. “I knew they were going to kick the can on the road. I knew they were going to get ahead of the story. I knew I definitely had no future with that system as it was.”
Manny Carabel/Getty Images Brendan Fraser at a screening of ‘The Whale’
As for why his accusations didn’t elicit more response from the HFPA and Hollywood in general (the Golden Globes enjoyed a large number of nominees that year), Fraser said, “I think it was because it was too prickly or sharp.” sharp or icky for people to want to go first and invest emotionally in the situation.
Fraser said the incident “made me pull back at the time”, feeling that “something had been taken from me”. Shortly after the original profile came out, the actor “heard from college friends, people I hadn’t worked with or seen in 30 years of my career.” He recalled hearing that the article was trending on Twitter and thinking, “Oh, my God. Oh, damn, what have I done now?” He recalled, “It was people saying they like me. And they referenced that piece. I was like, is this good, is this problematic? I don’t know. What did I do to deserve this? “
While going public with his allegations was a mostly positive experience, Fraser said it also exposed him a bit. “I think the feeling I’m having is, this is hard to describe, and not to be vulgar, but it’s like: I’ve seen you nakedhe explained. “It’s like people know what you look like, they know the story about you.” Overall, though, he found the interview “liberating,” saying “it was a weight removed.” bringing him some degree of closure.”That doesn’t mean I don’t get triggered every now and then, but then I’ll come hang out here again,” he said, pointing to the archery target in his backyard, according to the magazine: “And I send some arrows down, and it feels better.”
But even a few years after the article appeared, the alleged incident remains difficult to discuss, he acknowledged. “I would admit that I felt a little palpitation as I discussed this with you now,” he told the reporter. “But it’s okay because I hope at this point in my life and career I can be recognized for my professional endeavors, rather than the comeback boy trope as a standard in culture, sports, coming from behind, written off become.” and then come back.”
While the HFPA escaped Fraser’s accusations largely unscathed, just a few years later the organization found itself on the wrong side of another storm. A week before NBC’s 78th Golden Globes broadcast in 2021, the Los Angeles Times published an exposé showing that there were no black members in the HFPA’s 87-strong voter base. The show subsequently recorded record-low ratings amid celebrity pushbacks, and NBC ultimately decided it would not air the 2022 Globes.
Since then, the HFPA has announced behind-the-scenes initiatives, including the creation of an oversight committee and a partnership with the NAACP. They also added 103 new voters to their ranks, nearly doubling the ranks, including 21 new voters from diverse backgrounds. Though the efforts led NBC to bring back the televised ceremony the following year, Fraser continues to question the organization’s sincerity.
When asked if he believed in the reforms, the actor told GK“Not right now. Maybe time will tell if they… I don’t know what they’re going to do. I don’t know.”
Fraser also claimed that the HFPA never issued an apology to him, which the organization reportedly denied GK they have apologized twice, but according to the outlet, Berk admitted in 2018 that a supposed apology letter he sent to Fraser contained no admission of wrongdoing.
If the HFPA tries to excuse him, Fraser said, “under the rules of engagement it would be my responsibility to look into it and make a decision at that point, if that were to be the situation. And it should be, I know it’s not, what’s the word I’m looking for…sincere? I’d like some kind of gesture to make medicine out of poison. I don’t know what that is. But that would be my hope.” Fraser remarked also notes that he is far from the only person who has felt wronged by the group, so if they were to apologize, “I would expect it to be something that would be meaningful to them as well.”
EW has contacted the HFPA for comment.
Check out more from EW’s The Awardist, featuring exclusive interviews, analysis and our podcast that takes a look at all the highlights from the year’s best movies, TV and music.