UPDATED: Berk has been ousted from the group for good. Ironically, he’ll be replaced by a Black journalist. Poetic justice.
EARLIER The Golden Globes must get rid of their crazy, old members. I mean the Hollywood Foreign Press Association which is struggling to overcome multiple scandals.
The new one comes from former president Phil Berk, who is still, unbelievably, a member of the HFPA at age 88 even after insulting the whole group just few years ago in a book.
The LA Times reports that Berk sent out an email to the member ship this week labelling Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” and describing BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors as “the self-proclaimed ‘trained Marxist.’”
Berk sent the email to the whole membership. He was quoting a racist, right wing blog criticizing Cullors for buying a house in a nice neighborhood.
According to the Times, the members who received Berk’s email were incensed.
“You are a thundering disgrace Phil Berk,” wrote Patricia Danaher.
To which, Berk retorted, “I’m hearing from my sworn enemies. No surprise”
“The fact that you’re not recognizing the gravity of your statement is disturbing,” wrote Husam “Sam” Asi.
Berk is nuts, and should have been removed from the HFPA a long time ago. He published a book in 2014 called “Signs and Wonders” that was so crazy and damning of his colleagues that he was suspended from the Globes for quite a while. I can’t believe he’s still around.
In the book, Berk mocked the suicide of an HFPA member, Nick Douglas: “I was awoken by a call from John Hiscock informing me that a member, Nick Douglas, had committed suicide. I was in shock not just because Nick had taken his life but because he had once sent me an anonymous hate letter, and thus his death reinforced my belief that anyone who tries to harm me comes to an untimely end.”
Berk represents a part of the 90 member group that is filled with hate and entitlement. The problem is, the newer members can’t shake these people.
On top of the book and sundry complaints, Berk was also accused by actor Brendan Fraser in 20918 of groping him during one of the HFPA’s “press conferences.” Berk denied it, but wy would Fraser tell GQ Magazine “his left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around”?
It’s time for Berk to go, and several others (the newer members know who I’m talking about) if this group is going to survive long enough to have another awards season.