Halle Berry Charges: ‘My Oscar 20 Years Ago Didn’t Open Doors For Black Women’


Halle Berry won an Oscar 20 years ago


In 2002, the US actress was the first black actress to receive the “Academy Award” for best actress.

from Dieter Chmelar

For Hall Berry (55) a dream that she can no longer remember in detail. “I had a total blackout,” she says in an interview with the New York Times, “I don’t even know how I got on stage. All I can remember is that he apparently worried Russell Crowe whispered to me: ‘Breathe, colleague! Breathe!’ Then I already held the statue in my hands.”

In her acceptance speech 20 years ago, Halle Berry (then an award winner for her role in the Independent production of Monster’s Ball, incidentally starring Billy Bob Thornton and Heath Ledger) the formulation chosen: “This moment is so much bigger than me! It belongs to all the wonderful black colleagues who were previously faceless and nameless without a chance, but for whom a door has now been opened.”

Today, Halle Berry knows: “Unfortunately, that didn’t come true. My historic Oscar in no way opened the door for women of color.”

In 2021 there were still two blacks – Viola Davis and Andra Day – among the nominees. There isn’t a single black nominee in the acting categories this year. Since then, three black colleagues have won the coveted main prize among the men: Denzel Washington (2002), Jamie Foxx (2005) and Forest Whitaker (2007).

Halle Berry is unmistakably resigned: “I was wrong in my announcement. It breaks my heart that to this day there is no other black woman standing next to me in the Oscar history books.”

But, ultimately forgiving: “Prices are just the icing on the cake – they say nothing about our actually excellent work. Just for the industry to recognize and appreciate you. You can’t always measure success by the awards we win. With or without an Oscar: We ‘women of color’ are changing the world with our talent and our art.”

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