‘That moment really meant nothing’
Halle Berry is the only woman of colour to have ever won an Academy Award, snagging an Oscar for her performance in Monster’s Ball in 2002.
Taking to the stage in that iconic Elie Saab net embroidered gown, the actress tearfully delivered a powerful speech to the crowd, prompting a standing ovation.
‘This moment is so much bigger than me,’ she announced. ‘This moment is for every nameless faceless woman of colour that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.’
Just 15 years later however, Halle is still the only black woman to have won the Best Actress award at the Oscars, something that she has announced she is ‘profoundly saddened’ by.
While having a discussion at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the 50-year-old actress told Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Eelain Welteroth that she is disheartened by the lack of progress made since her historic Oscar win.
‘It’s troubling to say the least,’ she explained, ‘and a few years ago when we had the black Oscars and there was a complete blackout for us, it was probably one of my lowest professional moments.’
She continued: ‘Two Oscars ago, during the blackout, I sat there and I really thought “wow, that moment really meant nothing,” That meant nothing – I thought it meant something, but I think it meant nothing.’
‘I was profoundly hurt by that and saddened by that,’ she concluded, ‘and it inspired me to try 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 colour.’
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.