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US Hollywood Press Members Feel Victim of Cancel Culture Even as They Oust Philip Berk Over BLM Comments

01:55  23 april  2021
01:55  23 april  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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Philip Berk , a former president and longtime member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that governs and votes for the annual Golden Globes, has been ousted from the group's board after sending an email that called Black Lives Matter a "hate movement." Ex- Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk speaks onstage during the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards nomination announcement. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images). The email was sent to HFPA members , staff, and the group’s general counsel and chief operating officer.

Former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk has been expelled after the outcry over a leaked email recently sent to members with a post describing Black Lives Matter as a “hate movement.” “Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Berk ’s email, which was obtained by TheWrap and first reported on by the Los Angeles Times, appears to be a copy of an article on conservative website FrontPage Mag titled “ BLM Goes Hollywood ,” which criticized BLM founder Patrisse Cullors for buying a .4 million house in Topanga Canyon, California.

Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) members are supporting the recent firing of long-time member and former President Philip Berk while saying that they're struggling to do their jobs in light of the organization's recent controversies.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk speaks onstage during the HFPA/Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles on November 9, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. © Jason LaVeris/Getty Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk speaks onstage during the HFPA/Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award recipient at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles on November 9, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

"It's unfortunate because he has been a big part of the organization—he was very important in the past, but it absolutely had to be done," HFPA member Gabriel Lerman told Newsweek. "I don't think anybody will disagree with that."

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association board said in an email Tuesday that Phil Berk is no longer a member of the organization. The decision comes hours after NBC — which telecasts the Globes — condemned Berk ’s actions and called for his “immediate expulsion.” The show’s producer, Dick The South African-born Berk shared an article that called Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” and described Cullors as a “self-proclaimed trained Marxist,” according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. The email was sent to HFPA members , staff and the group’s general counsel and chief

"Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," the HFPA board noted in a statement on Tuesday. The announcement comes after Berk sent an email on Sunday to HFPA's members , staff, general counsel and Chief Operating Officer Gregory The Hollywood Reporter noted that the issue has arisen even as the HFPA already faced controversy related to race as the Los Angeles Times reported in a February 21 article that out of 87 HFPA voting members , none were black. "Since its inception, the HFPA has dedicated itself to bridging cultural

Berk, 88, who is an eight-term president and 44-year member of the organization, was expelled two days after emailing an article to his fellow members this past Sunday. An HFPA member described the email as a "copy and pasted" text that included an article and commentary from a conservative publication hinting at alleged improprieties on the part of Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. The article also called BLM a "racist hate movement" and described its supporters as "race rioters [who] burned buildings and terrorized communities."

Husam Sam Asi, another HFPA member and a presenter/producer for BBC Cinematic, said about the controversial email, "We rejected it—we responded indignantly."

Asi noted Berk's age and said he was out of touch and living in a past time when some people were more bigoted. "Now the world is changing, and that generation is struggling to fit in with new perspectives and thinking, and they are struggling to adapt," he said.

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Philip Berk , a former president and longtime member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that governs and votes for the annual Golden Globes, has been ousted from the group’s board after sending an email that called Black Lives Matter a “hate movement.” Berk , an eight-term association president, fell under heavy scrutiny after he sent an email Sunday criticizing Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. The South African-born Berk shared an article that called Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement” and described Cullors as a “self-proclaimed trained

Former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Phillip Berk has been ousted from the organization after sending an email to the group’s board calling BLM a “hate movement.” Berk also pointed out in his email BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors had described herself as a “trained NBC also issued a statement to the public, saying “NBC strongly condemns Phil Berk ’s actions and is calling for his immediate expulsion. While we continue to await the details of HFPA’s upcoming plan for reform, swift action on this front is an essential element for NBC to move forward with the HFPA and the

Asi said it was his belief Berk may have passed on sentiments from what he thought was a legitimate news outlet with ideas that matched his own.

Berk's email led to an aggressive attack on him by other HFPA members. The HFPA board sent out an email Tuesday saying that Berk was no longer a member of the organization.

That move came after NBC, the network that telecasts the HFPA's annual Golden Globes telecast, called for his "immediate expulsion." MRC, the parent company of Dick Clark Productions, which produces the broadcast, also demanded Berk's removal.

Newsweek reached Berk by phone but he declined to comment.

On Tuesday, Berk's ousting and previously reported controversies related to the HFPA led to more fallout.

Shaun Harper, who was hired as a diversity strategist adviser by the organization last month to help with recent controversies surrounding the group, resigned, saying he no longer had confidence he could collaborate with the HFPA. Harper is a professor at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business, where he studies racial, gender and LGBTQ issues.

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Berk , who had served eight terms as president of the organization, also shared an article titled " BLM Goes Hollywood '' in the email. Berk did not cite the source for the story, but it came from conservative commentator David Horowitz's Freedom Center website, FrontPage Mag, according to the Times. The late Chadwick Boseman also won best actor for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Members of HFPA's Board responded openly denounced Berk over the email. The HFPA said to LA Times in a statement that. "Since its inception, the HFPA has dedicated itself to bridging cultural connections and creating

Former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk has been expelled after the outcry over a leaked email recently sent to members with a post describing Black Lives Matter as a “hate movement.” “Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association,” a spokesperson on behalf of the HFPA board said Tuesday. Berk ’s email, which was obtained by TheWrap and first reported on by the Los Angeles Times, appears to be a copy of an article on conservative website FrontPage Mag titled “ BLM Goes Hollywood ,” which criticized BLM founder

While the HFPA has faced several controversies in the past, including criticism that voters have been wined and dined by productions eligible for awards, the organization has been under scrutiny in recent months after a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed that the 87-person group had no Black members. That led the HFPA board to release a statement saying it was committed to "making necessary changes within our organization and in our industry as a whole."

After criticism that a number of Black actors and Black-led projects were overlooked during this year's 78th Golden Globe Awards, the HFPA came out with a six bullet-pointed "action item" list, which included hiring a diversity and inclusion expert and a commitment to extend outreach to Black and underrepresented professionals.

Still, Tina Tchen, CEO of advocacy group Time's Up, said the HFPA's proposed actions, including finding Black members, were too cosmetic and didn't address a long-term commitment to systemic change.

For his part, Asi said he agrees, but noted that the real problem runs deeper and goes to the very heart of Hollywood and its most powerful players.

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"People keep talking about changes to the HFPA, but I want to see changes in the entire industry," said Asi, who is Palestinian and was raised in Israel. He said he's experienced his own share of racism. "Racism is not an HFPA disease—it's a pandemic. If you cancel the HFPA, someone else will take over. If you don't fix the entire system, you will change nothing."

Lerman, who is Argentinian and writes for both Argentina and Spain, said, "This has been such a misconstruction of the facts.... We are entertainment journalists from 40 countries. We are an organization of foreigners in Hollywood."

Lerman noted that the HFPA is made up of a diverse group of journalists representing 40 countries, with 14 who are Asian and seven Africans.

Meanwhile, the controversy has created difficulty for HFPA members in doing their jobs. Some said publicists are encouraging their clients and productions not to engage with HFPA members and to avoid events put on by the organization.

Asi said he ultimately hopes something good comes out of the crisis, not only for the HFPA but for Hollywood in general. "This is an important issue that has been ignored by the entire industry," he said.

Another HFPA member, who wished to remain anonymous, said, "Yes, of course we are not racist. Are you kidding me? We have the most incredible diverse group in the world, with every race and every religion. If we would be racist, we could not live 24 hours together."

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usr: 1
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