Ex-Hollywood Foreign Press president called BLM a ‘racist hate movement’

The former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association sent an email calling Black Lives Matter a racist movement, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.

The former president of the association that hands out the Golden Globes awards, Phil Berk, also described Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, as a “self-proclaimed ‘trained Marxist” in the email, which the Times reported was sent to the press association’s members, staff and its general counsel and chief operating officer, Gregory Goeckner. 

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 article that Berk shared took issue with Cullors buying a $1.4 million California home after national outrage and protests on racial injustice happened last summer. 

The Golden Globes before its awards ceremony this spring had come under criticism for a lack of nominations both this year and historically for Black artists. It is a part of a criticism that has also been made about other awards ceremonies. 

This year’s Golden Globes winners did include several Black artists, such as Daniel Kaluuya for supporting actor for his performance in Judas and the Black Messiah, and Andra Day for best actress in The United States vs. Billie Holliday. 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 further understanding of different backgrounds through film and TV. 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.”

The Hill has reached out to Black Lives Matter to comment on Berk’s remarks. 

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