Halle Berry’s Oscar Meant NOTHING For Diversity
Halle Berry says that diversity hasn’t changed much in Hollywood, since she took home her Oscar 15 years ago. Back in 2002, she became the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. During her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to,
Every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.
She remains the only woman of color to have received that award. Fast forward to the present day and the 50-year-old actress admits she’s hurt by the Academy’s lack of diversity progress. Recalling the moment in 2016 when the Oscar nominations did not feature a single actor of color, she remembered the emotional Oscar speech she gave in 2002.
I don’t even remember where that speech came from, because I didn’t have a speech [planned]. I was pretty sure Sissy Spacek was going to win. That [sentiment] just was what was ruminating in my spirit during that whole process.
When she heard about the 2016 nominations, she said,
I sat there and I really thought, ‘Wow, that moment really meant nothing. It meant nothing. I thought it meant something, but I think it meant nothing.’ I was profoundly hurt by that, and saddened by that. 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 making more opportunities for people of color. I have conversations more deeply with Academy members, and I’m trying to figure out how to help and add more diversity to the Academy.
These kinds of groups have to start changing and have to become more conscious and more inclusive. I think black people . . . people of color . . . only have a chance to win based on how much we’re allowed to put out. That says to me that we need more people of color writing, directing, producing—not just starring. We have to start telling stories that include us.