The Golden Globes are mired in controversy once again.
On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported turmoil within the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over an email sent to members by ex-HFPA president Phil Berk, 88.
In the email, Berk shared an article that called Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” and also described the official BLM organization co-founder Patrisse Cullors as “the self-proclaimed ‘trained Marxist’.”
The article also said of Cullors’ new home, “The house is down the road from one of the homes involved in the Manson murders, which seems only appropriate since Manson wanted to start a race war. And Black Lives Matter is carrying on Manson’s work.”
While Berk reportedly did not share a link to the original article, it was identified as having originally been published by the right-wing website FrontPage Mag on April 12.
Following the report, members who received the email condemned it directly, with a number asking to be removed from the email chain.
The HFPA released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday evening after the email was leaked to the Times, condemning the opinions expressed in the article.
“Since its inception, the HFPA has dedicated itself to bridging cultural connections and creating further understanding of different backgrounds through film and TV,” the statement read. “The views expressed in the article circulated by Mr. Berk are those of the author of the article and do not — in any way shape or form – reflect the views and values of the HFPA. The HFPA condemns all forms of racism, discrimination and hate speech and finds such language and content unacceptable.”
Berk, who served eight terms as president of the organization, had previously been the centre of controversy within the HFPA after actor Brendan Fraser accused him of groping his buttocks.
Meanwhile, the HFPA itself has seen controversy in recent months over its lack of diversity, as well as allegations of corruption in the Golden Globes nominating and voting process. In response, the association has set a May 5 deadline to announce structural changes to address those concerns.
As for Berk, THR reports that the HFPA board is considering taking action against the longtime member.