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Former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president ousted from organization over BLM-related email

"Effective immediately, Phil Berk is no longer a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association," the HFPA board noted in a statement on Tuesday.

Updated: April 20, 2021 - 9:31pm

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Former Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Phil Berk has been ousted from the organization.

"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 Goeckner, which has sparked controversy. Berk "shared a post that called BLM a 'racist hate movement,'" according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Although Berk, 88, did not cite a source or provide a link to his email post, it appeared to have been an article originally published under the headline 'BLM Goes Hollywood' that appeared on conservative commentator David Horowitz’s Freedom Center website, FrontPage Mag, on April 12," the Los Angeles Times reported.

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 connections and creating further understanding of different backgrounds through film and TV," the HFPA said in a Monday statement. "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."

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