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Brendan Fraser Will Not Attend The 2023 Golden Globes Due To A Controversy: “I felt like a little kid”

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Brendan Fraser has a rough past with the Golden Globes, but it didn’t stop him from being nominated for Best Actor in a Drama at the 2023 Golden Globes for his critically lauded work in The Whale. While most nominees are excited to attend the awards presentation in the hopes of giving an acceptance speech and socializing with other celebs, don’t expect Fraser to attend the ceremony on Tuesday, January 10.

In an interview with GQ in 2018, Fraser claimed that he was grabbed by Philip Berk, the former chairman of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which oversees the Golden Globes, during a 2003 event at the Beverly Hills Hotel. “His left-hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint,” he recalled. “And he starts moving it around.”

Berk admitted in his memoir that he touched Fraser’s butt but only meant it “in jest” yet told GQ that Fraser’s story was “a total fabrication.” However, the actor said he experienced panic and fear. “I felt ill. I felt like a little kid,” he said. “I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.”

Four years after that article and after receiving huge awards season buzz for The Whale, GQ asked Fraser if he would attend the Globes should he receive a nomination. “I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he explained. “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.”

Despite completing an inquiry and determining that Berk did touch Fraser, the HFPA took no disciplinary action against him at the time. Instead, GQ said that the charity requested that the celebrity sign a press statement stating that “it was intended to be taken as a joke and not as a sexual advance,” which he declined.

“I think it was because it was too prickly or sharp-edged or icky for people to want to go first and invest emotionally in the situation,” he told the outlet in 2022. Fraser maintains the HFPA has yet to apologize, a claim the group denies, but Berk’s story actually supports Fraser, telling GQ in 2018 that his apology admitted “no wrongdoing” and was only “the usual ‘If I’ve done anything that upset Mr. Fraser, it was not intended and I apologize.’ ”

Berk was only suspended from the HFPA in 2021 when it was revealed that he sent an essay to members branding Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” as part of a massive exposé against the organization, which led to NBC canceling the Globes event the following year. Fraser says he is willing to listen to the HFPA if they want to make apologies, but he is skeptical that the organization has undergone major improvements as promised. “Perhaps time will tell if they will,” he remarked. “I have no idea what they’re going to do.”

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