Longtime HFPA Member Philip Berk Expelled for Racist Email | THR News

An eight-term past president of the group behind the Golden Globe Awards, Berk was expelled after emailing an article to his fellow members that described Black Lives Matter as a "racist hate movement" and slammed its co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, for purchasing a home in Topanga Canyon

Video Transcript

NEHA JOY: Philip Berk, a longtime member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has been expelled from the HFPA. An eight-term past president of the group behind the Golden Globe Awards, Berk was expelled after emailing an article to his fellow members that described Black Lives Matter as a quote, "racist hate movement," and slammed its co-founder, Patrisse Cullors for purchasing a home in Topanga Canyon.

The 88-year-old received considerable backlash to his Sunday email from fellow members, according to The "Los Angeles Times," which received a copy of the email chain. One member labeled Berk's email racist, another vile, and a third called him a thundering disgrace. The HFPA notified Berk that it was not appropriate behavior, to which Berk replied, "I only intended to illustrate the hypocrisy that engulfs us. I forwarded it as a point of information. I had no hidden agenda. I now regret having sent it."

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, the HFPA board stated, "Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association." This was Berk's third strike for the HFPA. He previously took a leave of absence after writing a 2014 memoir, "With Signs and Wonders," that did not reflect well on the organization, and was accused by actor Brendan Frazier in 2013 of groping Frazier at an event in 2003.

Earlier, in a Monday evening statement, the HFPA in part, "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." Berk's expulsion comes at a time when the HFPA is already facing a crisis. A February 21 "Los Angeles Times" article revealed that the organization currently counts zero Black people among its 87 voting members.

Under fire from Times Up, the HFPA vowed to do better on its February 28 Globes telecast, and later vowed to announce substantial reforms by May 6. For more details on the story, head to the article on thr.com. For the "Hollywood Reporter" news, I'm Neha Joy.