Halle Berry Says Her Oscar Win “Meant Nothing” For Diversity in Hollywood

During the 2002 Academy Awards, Halle Berry was nominated and won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball. In a moving speech Berry proudly exclaimed, “Every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

However, 15 years later, Berry is still the only black woman ever to win the award. In an interview with Elaine Welteroth, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, Berry said, “It’s troubling. To say the least, it’s troubling.”

During the 2015 #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Berry said, “It was one of my lowest professional moments… I sat there and I thought, wow, that moment really meant nothing. It meant nothing. I thought it meant something but I think it meant nothing.”

Halle Berry Oscars
Halle Berry holding her Oscar at the Academy Awards, LA, CA 3/24/2002 (Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com)

Berry continued, “I profoundly hurt by that and saddened by that, and it inspired me to try to get involved in other ways. Which is why I want to start directing. I want to start producing more, I want to start being a part of making more opportunities for people of color.”

Berry said she is also working on ways in to make the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences more diverse. “These kinds of groups have to start changing,” she said. “We have to be more conscious and more inclusive.”

Halle Berry
Halle Berry at the 89th Annual Academy Awards held at the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, USA on February 26, 2017. (Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com)

Berry continued by saying, “We need more people of color writing, directing, producing, not just starring. We have to start telling stories that include us,” she continued. “And when stories don’t include us, we have to start asking, ‘why can’t that be a person of color? Why can’t that white male character be a black woman?’ Why can’t it? We have to start pushing the envelope and asking these questions.”