Brendan Fraser is still waiting for accountability.
The star of “The Whale” is on the new cover of GQ, and in the issue, the Canadian-American actor opens up about his return to the spotlight after sharing his own experience of sexual misconduct.
In 2018, amid the #MeToo movement, Fraser accused Philip Berk, then-president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, of sexually assaulting him.
Following an apparent inquiry by the HFPA, the actor refused to sign 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.”
Berk stayed with the HFPA as a voting member, and faced no disciplinary action, though he was eventually ousted in 2021 after he shared an article calling Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” in an email to members.
“I knew they would close ranks,” Fraser says of the organization’s lack of response to his allegations. “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.”
Last year, networks refused to air the HFPA’s awards show, the Golden Globes, due to controversies surrounding the organization, but this year NBC announced they will be broadcasting the show again.
Fraser, who is considered a Best Actor frontrunner for his performance in “The Whale”, says he does not plan to attend the ceremony if nominated.
“I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” he explains. “No, I will not participate.”
Now, several years after coming forward with his allegations, Fraser is asked whether speaking publicly has changed his relationship to the incident.
“Yeah, it did,” Fraser says. “That doesn’t mean I don’t get triggered every now and then, but then I come hang out back here,” gesturing to his backyard.
As for his performance in “The Whale, the actor says, “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.”