Remember Brendan Fraser? 10 years ago, he was one of Hollywood’s biggest starrings. Then, he suddenly disappeared.
If you were a kid in the late ‘9 0s and early ‘0 0s, chances are you assured a Brendan Fraser movie. The comedy and action star catapulted to fame behind blockbusters like “The Mummy” franchise, “George of the Jungle, ” “Looney Tunes: Back in Action, ” and the Oscar-winning film “Crash.”
But after 2008, he largely vanished from major starring roles. His absence wasn’t due to drugs, a sex-scandal, or illness — despite memes and even reported articles speculating about his career arc, with many blaming it on poor career choices.
Fraser revealed in a recent interview that an incident of sexual harassment led him to withdraw from his high-profile lifestyle.
Lately, the actor has gradually returned to more high-profile roles, and in an interview with GQ, he has pointed out that the real reason he stepped back from the spotlight was because of being physically groped by Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
In his own volume, Berk admitted to “pinching” Fraser in the buttocks after an event, but Fraser says the incident was much worse. “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his thumbs touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.”
“I felt ill. I felt like a little child, ” he told GQ. “I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry.”
He said it’s time to speak out, and other male victims of harassment are supporting him.
Berk has called the allegation a “total fabrication” but acknowledges he sent Fraser an apology letter after the incident when the actor complained to the HFPA. Fraser said he tried to bury his feelings about the incident, but he was moved into action after find actresses and performers speaking up at this year’s Golden Globes.
“Am I still frightened? Utterly. Do I feel like I need to say something? Perfectly. Have I wanted to many, many times? Perfectly. Have I stopped myself? Absolutely.”
Despite his reservations, people seem to believe, and be genuinely put forward by, Fraser’s claim. Once the objectives of gags, Fraser has become a catalyst for moving kudo across social media.
The Brendan Fraser story is a good reminder to always side-eye established, presumed narratives. So many people have been beaten up and spit out by our major institutions, forgotten until we cycle back around to empathy.
— Alanna Shuri Bennett (@ AlannaBennett) February 22, 2018
He’s also earned some public supporting from performer Terry Crews, who has publicly discussed experiencing a similar incident years ago.
“Brendan is amazingly courageous in telling this, ” Crews wrote on Twitter. “His assault experience is exceedingly similar to mine — ending with the assailant explaining away his actions. One man’s ‘horseplay’ is another man’s humiliation.”
Victims of sexual harassment and assault often face deep dishonor and fear in speaking out. Speaking out takes courage.
Speaking out after experiencing harassment or assault can be an incredible challenge, often full of personal and professional risk. Though the majority of assaults are against women, humen face their own similar challenges in overcoming dishonor, doubt, and repercussions for coming forward and speaking out. When men like Fraser and Crews speak out, they help clear the route for other humen to come forward with their own stories.
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