Halle Berry is bashing the Oscars for the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.
Speaking at the Makers Conference on Wednesday, Halle Berry said that she was “heartbroken” over the lack of diversity in Hollywood. Berry, who made history 14 years ago when she became the first woman of color to win an Oscar for a leading role, called Hollywood’s problem with not casting non-white actors as the “elephant in the room.”
Referring to her win for Monster’s Ball over a decade ago, Berry expressed disappointment that her Oscar did not break barriers for other non-white woman of color in Hollywood.
“I believed that in that moment, that when I said [during my acceptance speech], ‘The door tonight has been opened,’ I believed that with every bone in my body that this was going to incite change because this door, this barrier, had been broken.”
Halle Berry added:
To sit here almost 15 years later, and knowing that another woman of color has not walked through that door, is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking because I thought that moment was bigger than me. It’s heartbreaking to start to think maybe it wasn’t bigger than me. Maybe it wasn’t. And I so desperately felt like it was.
Halle Berry also said that the Academy Awards were a reflection of a broader issue in Hollywood when it comes to filmmaking. “As filmmakers and as actors, we have a responsibility to tell the truth,” Berry said. “And the films, I think, that are coming out of Hollywood aren’t truthful. … They’re not really depicting the importance and the involvement and the participation of people of color in our American culture.”
Entertainment Weekly points out that since Halle Berry’s win 14 years ago, only three black women have been nominated for an Oscar for a leading role: Gabourey Sidibe for Precious, Viola Davis for The Help, and Quvenzhané Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild. None of the three won.