Halle Berry is the first and only African-American woman to win an Academy Award for Best Actress and she said the fact that no other woman of colour has won in the category since then is “heartbreaking.” The 49-year-old actress had given an emotional acceptance speech about the importance of her Best Actress win for Monster’s Ball when she became the first black woman to win the award.
Berry said 15 years back she felt sure that her victory was a big win for all actors and actresses of colour, reported ABC News. “Honestly, that win almost 15 years ago was iconic, it was important to me, but I had the knowing in the moment that it was bigger than me,” the X-Men star said during a panel at the 2016 Makers Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
“I believed that in that moment, that when I said, ‘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. And to sit here almost 15 years later, and knowing that another woman of colour 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,” Berry said.
The diversity issue has become a hot topic in recent weeks after Academy Awards voters failed to nominate a single African-American or minority actor at this year’s Oscars. The actress has joined actors such as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith, George Clooney, and Spike Lee, who have all spoken out about diversity in Hollywood.
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Berry also noted that she believes that Hollywood is not producing “truthful” films because of the lack of diversity onscreen. “As filmmakers and as actors, we have a responsibility to tell the truth. And the films, I think, that are coming out of Hollywood aren’t truthful. And the reason they’re not truthful, these days, is that they’re not really depicting the importance and the involvement and the participation of people of colour in our American culture.