Brendan Fraser Calls for HFPA Member to Resign After Sexual Harassment Report Conclusion
"I think I'm just the first brick in the path. Maybe someone else will put another brick down and the path will continue on. I don't know," the actor says.
Brendan Fraser is calling for Philip Berk, the former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, to step down following the conclusion of a sexual harassment investigation.
In a GQ profile published last February, Fraser revealed his story about Berk, saying in 2003 Berk allegedly grabbed him inappropriately. The actor claimed Berk grabbed his butt and "one of his fingers touches me in the taint."
In an update to that story published Wednesday, Fraser said the HFPA investigated the issue, but was being coy about its findings. In addition, the actor was asked to sign off on a joint statement stating that the incident took place, but that Berk was only joking around. The statement, provided by Fraser, read: "Although it was concluded that Mr. Berk inappropriately touched Mr. Fraser, the evidence supports that it was intended to be taken as a joke and not as a sexual advance."
Fraser told GQ he doesn’t “get the joke,” and declined to sign the statement. "I'm the only one who would know where I was touched on my body," he said.
He did, however, demand to see the HFPA’s full report on the matter. He was told that was not possible due to confidentiality restraints.
“They’re kind of behaving like wolves in sheep’s clothing about it, saying, ‘Oh, we want him to heal.’ Well, the first step in that direction would be: What am I healing from? Can I please see this report? What is it?” the actor said. “They commissioned an investigation. They received their report. And they’re not giving any details about it, and they’re not giving up the report itself.”
Berk told GQ he was facing no discipline over the findings.
Fraser said he was speaking out about the incident once more in the hope that Berk will be asked to step down.
"I think I'm just the first brick in the path,” he said. “Maybe someone else will put another brick down and the path will continue on. I don't know."
He added, "It's not too late. They can still do the right thing."