Brendan Fraser Says a Golden Globe Award "Would Mean Nothing" Following 2023 Nomination
On Dec. 12, 2022, "The Whale" star Brendan Fraser snagged a 2023 Golden Globes best actor nomination for his performance in the film. Ultimately, Austin Butler took home the award for his "Elvis" performance, which Fraser said was a "big win for him" and "well deserved," but the actor himself maintains that he had zero interest in having his own Golden Globe award.
In November 2022, the 54-year-old actor spoke out against the award show and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that votes for and runs the Golden Globes, in a GQ interview, where he stated that even if he were nominated for his role, he would not attend the ceremony.
"I don't want it. I didn't ask to be considered even, that was presumed."
"I have more history with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association than I have respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," Fraser told the outlet. "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."
Fraser doubled down on his stance against the Golden Globe Awards in a Feb. 7 interview on "The Howard Stern Show," where he gave his honest thoughts about his surprise 2022 nomination. "I found myself wondering is this a cynical nomination. I couldn't really tell because of my history with them and that I still have yet to see the results from their reformation. We all are still awaiting that, to tell you the truth," the Critics' Choice Awards winner and Oscar nominee said, per People. "Get it or don't get it, doesn't matter. What does matter is that it would mean nothing to me. I don't want it. I didn't ask to be considered even, that was presumed. I know that would displease many people for lots of reasons, but . . . They needed me, I didn't need them. Because it wouldn't be meaningful to me. Where am I gonna put that hood ornament? What would I do with that?"
Back in 2018, in another GQ interview, Fraser publicly shared allegations against the HFPA's former President Philip Berk. Fraser claimed Berk groped and assaulted him in 2003 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Berk has disputed Fraser's account.
When Fraser's accusations came out four years ago, the HFPA said in a statement, "The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article." The organization added, "This report includes alleged information that the HFPA was previously unaware of and at this time we are investigating further details surrounding the incident." Fraser spoke to the independent investigator but told GQ in his most recent interview that the HFPA came back with a joint statement they could release together. According to Fraser, the statement would read, "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 would not sign it, and Berk remained with the organization.
"I knew they would close ranks," Fraser told GQ in November. "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." The HFPA did not respond to POPSUGAR's request for comment on Fraser's most recent remarks.
Eventually, there was a major shakeup at the HFPA, but not because of Fraser's allegations. In 2021, the LA Times revealed that the HFPA had no Black members. The publication also revealed many ethical and financial conflicts in the organization. The news came not long after the 2021 nominees were released and widely derided for their lack of diversity, particularly for excluding movies and TV shows about Black people. Berk was expelled from the organization in April 2021 after sending members an email with an article that called Black Lives Matter a "racist hate movement."
NBC announced in May 2021 that the network would no longer air the Golden Globes, and the 2022 ceremony was not broadcast. But NBC changed course for the 2023 ceremony, which aired on Jan. 10, in agreement with a one-year deal with the organization. That decision was in response to changes made by the HFPA. The HFPA said it added 103 voters, making 51.5 percent of voters "racially and ethnically diverse"; Black voters now comprise 10 percent of the voting body. The organization also instituted more rules about gift giving and announced charitable donations.
Fraser told GQ that "at the moment" he did not believe in the HFPA's announced reforms. "Maybe time will tell," he said. He said that the organization never apologized to him, although the HFPA told GQ they apologized twice. Berk told GQ in 2018 that he wrote a letter to Fraser about the incident but did not admit "wrongdoing." Fraser said if the HFPA wanted to make amends, he would want it to be "sincere," but he added that he's not the only person who's felt wronged by the group and that people have confided in him. "I would expect that it would be something that would be meaningful for them too," he said.