NBC and Golden Globes Producer MRC Condemn Former HFPA President’s ‘Racist Rhetoric’

MRC, the parent of the Golden Globes, and broadcasting partner NBC have released statements in response to the email that was forwarded to all Hollywood Foreign Press Association members on Sunday in which former HFPA President Phil Berk shared a post that called Black Lives Matter a “racist hate movement.”

Dick Clark Productions owner MRC called on immediate action from the HFPA, saying: “We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues, artists, journalists and executives who have been hurt or overlooked by the HFPA. We are disgusted by the racist rhetoric disseminated by a member yesterday. We were encouraged by the very strong statements the HFPA previously made around improving their organization around issues of racial reform and equity. The actions and statements of this member are inconsistent with the direction that the HFPA has publicly said it has embarked upon. We are calling upon the HFPA to take quick and decisive action against this member. Earlier this year, we laid out our expectations to the organization and have been working to influence and support the progress that so many of us want to see. While we remain hopeful that progress is being made and a clear, actionable roadmap is unveiled, we are deeply disappointed by this latest development. We want to reiterate publicly that there must be meaningful change defined in the May 6th plan.”

NBC, the broadcasting partner of the annual Golden Globes Awards, also released a separate statement stating, “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 Golden Globes.”

The L.A. Times published an article on Monday detailing an email sent by former president and current HFPA member Berk in which he shared an article that singled out the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrisse Cullors, as a “self-proclaimed trained Marxist.”

In response, the HFPA board sent to Variety on Monday a statement saying 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. The HFPA condemns all forms of racism, discrimination and hate speech and finds such language and content unacceptable.”

Berk’s email comes after the HFPA courted controversy over its complete lack of Black members in its ranks, and the fact that there hadn’t been any Black members for at least 20 years. The HFPA has since committed to adding at least 13 Black members to its ranks.

The recent Golden Globes telecast reported the lowest ratings of its 78-year history.

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