Dogfight: Hollywood foreign press denizens mix it up with one another over Black Lives Matter Hollywood takeover

Sometimes, you gotta just stop to rubberneck the train wreck.

So it goes with the Los Angeles Times exposé of an e-mail exchange between members of the scandal-filled Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is that tiny longstanding group of press characters who award the Golden Globes.

One of them, a former eight-time president of guild, Philip Berk, sent out an expose to the group of a Frontline Magazine piece exposing the Hollywood money-making of Black Lives Matter elites.  According to the Times:

An email sent Sunday by a former Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. president criticizing Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and likening BLM to a hate group touched off a firestorm among many of the organization's members.

In the email, Phil Berk, who served eight terms as HFPA president, shared a post that called BLM a "racist hate movement" and described Cullors as "the self-proclaimed 'trained Marxist.'" It was sent out to the association's members, its staff and the group's general counsel and chief operating officer, Gregory Goeckner.

The piece, written by the estimable Daniel Greenberg, stirred up a hornet's nest with this Hollywood bunch, given that it described the mansion purchases, the big-dollar Hollywood agent contracts, the book deals, the HBO appearances, and the huge corporate sponsorships, from the likes of J.P. Morgan (which once used slaves as collateral in its bank dealings) that the BLM elites are involved in, branding the activist group an entertainment racket of sorts, premised on burning cities.

A choice Greenberg passage about the tony Topanga mansion purchase by BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors is here:

The Topanga Canyon home has "soaring ceilings", "skylights", and is ideal for "quietly contemplating cross-canyon vistas framed by mature trees" or the next town your hate group is going to burn. There's even an art studio and politically incorrect "maids quarters".

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.

As was sung in the film Evita: "... and the money rolled in and out."

This might explain the actual motive of Berk, who's no right-winger or principled critic of Black Lives Matter.  He's in fact a Hillary Clinton man, which sounds about par for Hollywood, but he's a bit worse than that, as details to follow will show.

Why he sent the link to the article is strange, given that he mouths all the leftist tropes.  It might therefore be because the article describes how BLM is cashing in on the Hollywood scene, just as he tries to do.  BLM's denizens were making more money than he was, given that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association comprises mostly paupers who live off the cash and perks bestowed upon their organization by corporate sponsors in return for the television rights to their well watched awards show.  That was the finding of an earlier (and delicious) exposé by the Los Angeles Times of this bunch that's well worth reading, too.  Now that the cash and corporate sponsorship in Hollywood is flowing to Black Lives Matter, it might be leaving them on the outs.  My working thesis is that maybe BLM's sharpies were beating Berk at his own game, which is why he sent the piece, which made the other lefties angry.

Because none of the characters in this mix-up over Black Lives Matter is a protagonist, nor sympathetic, not one — at least, not among those whom I could find.  They all look pretty hideous.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a pinched little group of a few foreign correspondents that shuts out outsiders (one whom I know who should have merited a place, Claudine Mulard at Le Monde, who was always mysteriously rejected for membership, despite her obvious qualifications).  Here's a list of them dating from 2015, and it's pretty much the same list of characters quoted by the Times in the current imbroglio.  Naturally, that's opened them to charges of racism, which comes with the territory of shutting everyone out.

Who's Berk?  He's been accused of pinching the butt in a really disgusting way of a young Hollywood actor named Brendan Fraser, who had the gumption to say something about it.  In a 2018 interview with GQ, he said this:

"His left hand reaches around, grabs my a-- cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint," Fraser told GQ. "And he starts moving it around... I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry."

Berk has denied it, but the young actor had an impressive defender — actor James Woods, who's a well known Hollywood conservative, and added a few things of his own:

Woods took to Twitter to back up Fraser and accuse Berk of "blacklisting" him because he didn't support Clinton. 

"I, too, was blacklisted by that individual at #HFPA after nine Golden Globe nominations,"  he tweeted. "During a press junket with HFPA, he asked if I would support Hillary Clinton if she ever ran for president. Never nominated again."

An accused sexual harasser and an accused politically correct blacklister.  That's some collection of appalling accusations the 88-year-old South African–born longtime Hollywood press leader has accumulated, in addition to all the amazing Hollywood Foreign Press Association scandals around taking money and corporate gifts and inflated salaries, and now he's done this BLM stunt, which got the rest of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association list riled up at him, not because the article wasn't true, but because it was.

The others involved in this, the appalled and raging leftists at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, aren't lovely people, either.

According to the LA Times

"As a former HFPA President and still a strong and influential voice in the group, this is not the [type] of information you should be disseminating to HFPA members," replied member Rui Coimbra. "Please remove me from any racist email you wish to send to the membership. Dr. Harper has been notified, here, that you are equating the Black Lives Matter moment to the Charles Manson murderous gang."

"I think that what we need to do is be more tolerant of everyone's opinions. Stop calling everyone and everything racist! Isn't that what people who don't know anything about us are accusing us of?" wrote another member, Noemia Young.

Responding to Berk, board member Luca Celada wrote, "We might as well have circulated the Protocols of the of the Elders Zion. [sic] The vile rhetoric contained in this screed is simply unacceptable. In our association or anywhere."

Who's Coimbra?  Apparently a nobody, found no bylines with his name on them in Expresso, the Portuguese press organ he is said to write for.  Unless he's left, he doesn't write much, which makes one wonder what he lives on.  How about Celada?  He's with the communist press over in Italy.  And Young?  She's an "unknown writer," according to the Canadian press, which makes one wonder what she lives on, too.  Now, this list dates from 2015, which means that some of these people might be working for other papers or doing something else with their time, but the central premise of the Los Angeles Times exposé (and this one) was that these people lived off the cash from the press association, and otherwise are dirt poor, which makes them highly susceptible to gifts and perks.

More outrage from the Hollywood foreign press association members here:

"You are a thundering disgrace Phil Berk," wrote Patricia Danaher.

To which, Berk retorted, "I'm hearing from my sworn enemies. No surprise"

"The fact that you're not recognizing the gravity of your statement is disturbing," wrote Husam "Sam" Asi.

Who's Danaher?  According to her LinkedIn, she's apparently someone who rewrites fairy tales, undoubtedly to political correctness specifications.

Who's Asi?

Based on this 2013 piece, he looks like a real charmer:

Several individuals recounted to TheWrap that Asi (left, with Reese Witherspoon) apparently showed photos on his cellphone to two women staffers at the association office of drunk, sleeping girls from a recent movie junket "who, it is claimed, he got drunk, brought back to his room, and molested," according to one of the insiders who recounted the mess to TheWrap.

There also was some naked pool stuff described in that one, and women who complained about him.  Asi denied the whole thing and added that he's been accused of lots of things, among them hacking into computers, too.  Wow.

Funny how many of them seem to be accusation magnets.

This tells you what a nasty little world this is.  None of these people is nice.  Not even Claudine Mulard, who should be in the group, is nice, either.

Berk seems to be jealous of BLM's takeover of Hollywood, presumably at his expense.  The others are voicing political correctness, while being members of a group with no black members.  Now they're mixing it up, maybe in some sort of swan song of their own questionable influence.  Berk's really stepped in it, given his history as an apparently vicious blacklisting leftist.

Blech.  These people all deserve each other, and as they go down in fighting, expect Black Lives Matter to eventually take them over, too.  They've taken over everything else in this Hollywood game.  Berk, who doesn't like it, merely seems to think he's the one entitled to the spoils.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.