Halle Berry is ‘Completely Heartbroken’
Halle Berry says she feels “completely heartbroken” that no other Black woman has followed in her footsteps and won an Academy Award in the best actress category.
The director and star of “Bruised” made history in 2002 as the first woman of color to win the top acting prize for her role in the film “Monster’s Ball.”
Two decades later, Berry said in an interview airing Thursday on ABC and Hulu’s “Screen Queens Rising” special that she had expected more Black performers to follow.
“I do feel completely heartbroken that there’s no other woman standing next to me in 20 years,” said Berry, 55.
“I thought, like everybody else, that night meant a lot of things would change,” she added.
“That there would be other women. I thought I would have the script truck back up to my front door and I’d have an opportunity to play any role I wanted. That didn’t happen. No other woman is standing there.”
The Oscars have long faced accusations of discrimination against actors of color. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite began trending in 2016 after no Black actors received nominations in any of the four main acting categories for the second year in a row.
In 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced new standards for the best picture category as part of an effort to improve minority representation.
Berry expressed dismay on the ABC special that neither “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star Viola Davis nor Andra Day, who played the lead role in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” took home the best actress award at least year’s Oscars ceremony. Frances McDormand won best actress for “Nomadland.”
“I think we have to start to change our perspective because it’s clear that we may not change how the awards are handed out,” Berry said.
“But in lieu of changing that, what can we change? We can change our participation within the industry,” she said. “We can change how hard we fight to tell our stories, the scripts we write.”
Nominations for the 2022 Academy Awards are set to be announced on Tuesday.