In a leaked email, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Associationshared a post in which Black Lives Matter was described as a “racist hate movement.”
The email, as noted by the Los Angeles Times’ Stacy Perman on Monday, was sent by ex-HFPA president Philip Berk. Berk, notably, served eight terms as the president of the non-profit organization that annually conducts the Golden Globe Awards. The post shared in the email is said to have also mentioned Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors in a similarly disparaging manner. Recipients of the email reportedly included HFPA members, staff, general counsel, and COO Gregory Goeckner.
Berk, who was previously alleged by actor Brendan Fraser to have sexually assaulted him, is reported to have not included a link in the email. The Times report, however, explained that the email seemingly pulled from a recent article on conservative figure David Horowitz’s website. The report also said the email in question was condemned in the ensuing thread by other members, with several criticizing it as racist.
The HFPA has long faced criticism for its inaction on diversity and inclusion concerns, most recently including calls for a boycott from more than 100 public relations firms.
Earlier this year, the HFPA said its board will oversee reforms “in consultation with outside advisors” regarding diversity and transparency. Among the action items outlined in March are the hiring of independent experts in organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion and an increase in the support of mentorship and scholarship programs for Black and other underrepresented journalism students.
The HFPA has issued a statement in response to the report, saying:
“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.”