It’s been 15 years since Halle Berry became the first woman of color to win the Best Actress Oscar — and now, the star is candidly speaking out about her iconic Academy Award win.
At the time, Halle dedicated the honor to “every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened” during her emotional acceptance speech. But today, the 50-year-old actress unfortunately feels her 2002 Oscar win for Monsters Ball “meant nothing” because Hollywood is still struggling with diversity.
“Wow, that moment really meant nothing. It meant nothing. I thought it meant something but I think it meant nothing,” she recently told Teen Vogue.
Halle winning her Oscar in 2002. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“I was profoundly hurt by that, and saddened by that,” the mom-of-two continued.
In 2015, the Academy Awards received an outpouring of backlash after not one person of color was nominated for the ceremony’s four major awards: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.
“It’s troubling to say the least,” Halle said. “[That] was probably one of my lowest professional moments.”
That year, two-time Oscar winner George Clooney spoke out about the controversry. “If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African Americans were nominated,” he said.
“Let’s look back at some of the nominees. I think around 2004, certainly there were black nominees — like Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman. And all of a sudden, you feel like we’re moving in the wrong direction,” he continued. “By the way, we’re talking about African Americans. For Hispanics, it’s even worse. We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it.”
Halle in her Oscar-winning Monster’s Ball role. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Thankfully, the film industry’s lack of progress has led Halle to take matters into her own hands. “It inspired me 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,” she said.