The Hollywood Foreign Press must do an internal audit.
Phil Berk served eight terms as president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. You’ve been caught up in controversy for years, not least his alleged sexual harassment of Brendan Fraser.
Now he’s in hot water again.
He sent an email to HFPA members on Sunday containing inflammatory remarks about Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, comparing BLM to a hate group. The core of the email focuses on Cullors buying a home in the Hollywood Hills.
Berk divided items called “BLM Goes Hollywood” in the email. The article is on Frontpage Mag, part of the David Horowitz Freedom Center websitewho shares conservative views.
Part of the original article reads, “The house is near one of the houses that were involved in the Manson murders, which seems appropriate given that Manson wanted to start a race war. And Black Lives Matter continues Manson’s work.”
The original article calls BLM a “racist hate movement” and describes Cullors as an “amateur Marxist”.
The forwarded article was mailed to members, employees and the Group’s General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer, Gregory Goeckner.
This email was received with horror and anger by many members, who were very angry at Berk’s words. They asked to be removed from the thread or called Berk about his inflammatory remarks. But Berk shot back at her in exchange you can read on the internet Los Angeles times.
The HFPA was in trouble because it had no black members and overall lack of diversity. This email appears amid their attempts to correct this, adding to the pressure and controversy on the situation.
Berk is 88 years old and represents what the HFPA hopes for the past of their organization. But they weren’t great at rehabilitating their perception for the moment or for the future.
In a statement, the HFPA said: “Since its inception, the HFPA has been committed to bridging cultural ties and creating better understanding of diverse backgrounds through film and television. The views expressed in the article distributed by Mr. Berk are those of the author of the article and in no way 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. ”
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