(Credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

Hollywood Foreign Press Association expels member after allegations of racism

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the governing body behind the Golden Globes, have revealed that they have expelled a member of the organisation following racism allegations. 

It was revealed in a statement that Phillip Berk, a former president of the HFPA, and a member for over 44 years, was expelled after he shared an article that described the Black Lives Matter movement as a “racist hate group.”

The brief statement read: “Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.”

Golden Globes broadcaster NBC then followed this statement by adding: “NBC strongly condemns Phil Berk’s actions … [and] swift action on this front is an essential element for NBC to move forward with the HFPA and the Golden Globes.”

The roots of the story were first revealed in the LA Times recently after they reported Berk had forwarded an article that had been deemed racist by fellow recipients within the organisation. One response that Berk received read, “The vile rhetoric contained in this screed is simply unacceptable”, and another condemned Berk as “a thundering disgrace”.

The article that was shared was entitled ‘BLM Goes Hollywood’ and appeared in Frontpage Mag. The article took issue with BLM figurehead Patrisse Cullor recently getting involved in television projects and moving to LA.

Berk apparently responded in the email chain that he “only intended to illustrate the hypocrisy that engulfs us… I now regret having sent it.”

The HFPA then issued a statement in response to the breaking story in the LA Times, declaring: “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.” His dismissal then followed shortly after.

Further developments are expected to follow.