A former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is reportedly being attacked by members for sharing an opinion piece about Black Lives Matter that called the group a “racist hate movement” out to start a “race war.”
Phil Berk, who served eight terms as president of the group behind the Golden Globes, emailed the Front Page Mag piece — which decried BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors’ multi-million property buying spree — to association members, staff, general counsel and even its chief operating officer, the Los Angeles Times said.
“The house is down the road from one of the homes involved in the Manson murders which seems only appropriate since Manson wanted to start a race war. And Black Lives Matter is carrying on Manson’s work,” the post reads.
The article suggests that the “fully trained Marxist” used her deepening ties to Hollywood to fund her lavish lifestyle.
“The founders of BLM have gone to work acting, writing, consulting, and promoting for Hollywood because their racist hate movement was always an entertainment industry production,” the article states.
His email received swift backlash — with one member, Patricia Danaher, calling him “a thundering disgrace.”
“Please remove me from any racist email you wish to send to the membership,” member Rui Coimbra replied, noting Berk was “equating the Black Lives Matter moment to the Charles Manson murderous gang.”
“The vile rhetoric contained in this screed is simply unacceptable. In our association or anywhere,” board member Luca Celada wrote, according to the L.A. paper.
Noemia Young also told him to “stop calling everyone and everything racist,” noting, “Isn’t that what people who don’t know anything about us are accusing us of?”
The association’s COO, Gregory Goeckner, also replied that it was “not appropriate to circulate material such as this, which many members and staff find deeply offensive.”
“Please do not circulate this type of material again,” Goeckner reportedly warned him.
Berk told the group that he “only intended to illustrate the hypocricy [sic] that engulfs us,” the L.A. Times said.
“I had no hidden agenda,” he wrote. “I now regret having sent it.”
South African-born Berk has a history of controversy, with actor Brendan Fraser even accusing him of groping him in 2003.
“His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around,” Fraser told GQ magazine in 2018, saying he “felt ill” and near tears.
Berk later brushed it off as a joke while telling GQ that the actor’s version was “a total fabrication.”
Cullors could not be reached for comment, the paper said. She has previously defended her wealth as a result of hard work, calling any criticism of it a “terror tactic.”
The group — which has no black members — is in the midst of a promised “transformational change,” hiring a strategic diversity advisor and working with the National Assn. of Black Journalists and NAACP, the report noted.