With his performance in Darren Arronofky’s drama The Whale, Brendan Fraser has become an award-season frontrunner, carving out his own comeback. However, Fraser’s not the only one who has made a return to the industry this year—as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association makes plans to usher in a new era of the Golden Globes. Nonetheless, Fraser says that even if he receives a nomination for The Whale, he will not attend the ceremony.
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” Fraser says in an interview with GQ. “No, I will not participate.”
“It’s because of the history that I have with them,” he continues. “And my mother didn’t raise a hypocrite. You can call me a lot of things, but not that.”
Back in 2018, Fraser notably came forward and accused former HFPA president, Phillip Berk, of sexually assaulting him at a luncheon in 2003. Following an independent investigation, the HFPA released a joint statement, reading, “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 never signed the release, and that was the end of it. Berk himself said in 2018 that he received no disciplinary action from the organization.
“I knew they would close ranks,” Fraser says of the fallout. “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.”
Despite the supposed changes the organization has undergone in the last few years following the bombshell revelations concerning the demographic makeup of HFPA, Fraser has not forgotten how Berk maintained his position and faced zero consequences for his actions following his public allegation. For years after the accusation was first made, the HFPA went on business as usual (though Berk would be later fired in 2021 after calling Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” in an email to HFPA membership).
When asked if he believed HFPA could actually enact the sweeping internal changes, Fraser says, “At the moment, no. Maybe time will tell if they’re going to… I don’t know what they’re going to do. I don’t know.”
Even though Fraser will not channel any energy into pursuing a Golden Globe this year, he says he’s fully campaigning for that lead actor Oscar.
“I owe it to myself. I owe it to the filmmakers,” Fraser says. “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. This is my shot.”