Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth
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Sex. Celebrity. Politics. With Teeth

HFPA Is Investigating Brendan Fraser’s Claim That He Was Sexually Assaulted by Its Former President

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On Thursday, GQ published a profile entitled “What Ever Happened To Brendan Fraser?” The piece is long and sad and meandering, and has a frustrating answer to its central question—which is that he never really went anywhere. Fraser has been acting consistently for the better part of three decades, and though his career certainly evolved (he doesn’t star in blockbuster Mummy movies anymore), he certainly didn’t fall off the face of the Hollywood sign in the way the piece’s title suggests. You know, in the way women actors do all the time.

Framing the piece around Fraser’s so-called disappearance was an odd choice for GQ, as its most devastating revelations are not about the end of his career, but rather what he has endured throughout it—everything his career has survived. Namely, the physical toll of being an action star (he’s had countless surgeries), the death of his mother (which led to a “sad Brendan Fraser” internet meme), and an alleged sexual assault from Philip Berke, the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the group responsible for the Golden Globes).

Of the incident, which allegedly occurred in 2003, GQ shares both Berke’s and Fraser’s version of what happened:

He pinched Fraser’s ass—in jest, according to Berk. But Fraser says what Berk did was more than a pinch: “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.” Fraser says that in this moment he was overcome with panic and fear.


Mere hours after the piece was published, the HFPA announced that it would be investigating Fraser’s claims. In a statement given to Us Weekly, the HFPA wrote:

“The HFPA stands firmly against sexual harassment and the type of behavior described in this article. Over the years we’ve continued a positive working relationship with Brendan, which includes announcing Golden Globe nominees, attending the ceremony and participating in press conferences. 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 said the incident made him “feel reclusive.”

Berke said Fraser’s account is a “total fabrication.”

We’ve been here before.

“What Ever Happened to Brendan Fraser” still bugs me as a headline, though. I can’t shake the gendered strangeness of a story about sexual assault in 2018 being framed like this:


[Us Weekly]

Here’s a video of Mo’Nique and Whoopi Goldberg butting heads on The View yesterday:

[Page Six]

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  • David Mamet wrote a play about Harvey Weinstein and I pray that it never gets produced!!! [Daily Beast]
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  • Drew Barrymore had a great birthday, y’all! [Daily Mail]