Hollywood Foreign Press expels former president

Philip Berk is cut from Golden Globes body over racist email.

A new definition of a right berk…

Philip Berk, a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the past 44 years, has been expelled from its membership two days after emailing an article to his fellow members that described Black Lives Matter as a “racist hate movement”.

Berk, an eight-term past president of the group behind the Golden Globe Awards, slammed its co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, for purchasing a home in Topanga Canyon.

“Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” the HFPA’s board said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.

Berk, an 88-year-old from South Africa, received considerable backlash to his email from fellow members, according to the Los Angeles Times.

One member labeled Berk’s email “racist,” another “vile” and a third called him “a thundering disgrace,” while the HFPA’s COO notified Berk that it was “not appropriate” behaviour.

Berk replied, “I only intended to illustrate the hypocricy [sic] that engulfs us I forwarded it as a point of information I had no hidden agenda I now regret having sent it.”

This was, in effect, Berk’s third strike with the HFPA. He previously took a leave of absence after writing a 2014 memoir,that did not reflect well on the organisation, and was accused by the actor Brendan Fraser, in 2018, of groping Fraser’s buttocks at an event in 2003.

The HFPA is already under fire for a lack of diversity amongst its press members.

In a statement, the HFPA said: “Since its inception, the HFPA has dedicated itself to bridging cultural connections and creating further understanding of different backgrounds through film and TV. 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.”

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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