Bad Situation Gets Worse for Hollywood Foreign Press

Former president booted over email viewed as racist, advisers flee
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2021 11:30 AM CDT
Hollywood Foreign Press' Diversity Woes Hit Breaking Point
Philip Berk speaks during the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual installation luncheon on July 20, 2005, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Golden Globes, has expelled a former president after he shared an article that described Black Lives Matter as a "racist hate movement." Philip Berk, who served eight terms as president until 2011, shared the FrontPage Mag article—which claimed BLM was carrying on the work of convicted murderer Charles Manson, who "wanted to start a race war"—with association members, staff, general counsel and COO Gregory Goeckner on Sunday, reports the Los Angeles Times. It was horrible timing for the 87-person HFPA, which last month vowed to address a lack of diversity after the Times found it didn’t have a single Black member. The Time's Up campaign and more than 100 PR firms threatened to keep talent from attending events put on by the group, which promised reforms by May 6, per the Hollywood Reporter.

Angry members responded to Berk's email, blasting the "vile" and "racist" rhetoric, per the Times. One called Berk "a thundering disgrace," per the Guardian. Golden Globes broadcaster NBC joined with Globes production company Dick Clark Productions in calling for Berk's expulsion on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the crisis management firm the HFPA had hired for its internal review quit, and HFPA's own diversity and inclusion adviser (who himself had been criticized for his idea of adding 13 Black members) resigned Tuesday, saying the HFPA's diversity problem was much larger than he originally believed, per the Reporter. The HFPA said Tuesday that Berk is no longer a member "effective immediately." (Actor Brendan Fraser accused him of groping.)

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