Halle Berry Shares Honest Thoughts About No Other Black Women Winning The Best Actress Oscar Since Her Historic Win

Halle Berry looks concerned in her office in Moonfall.
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Halle Berry’s Best Actress Oscar win was seen as a watershed moment in Hollywood after multiple Black actresses had failed to secure the coveted honor. It was hailed as a turning point for Black women in film, but unfortunately, that didn’t come to fruition. Right now, the X-Men veteran is still the only Black woman to win that award. Of course, that stat hasn’t bypassed the Oscar winner as she shared her thoughts about no other Black women winning the top award.

Berry earned the honor in 2002 for her performance in Monster’s Ball. Her historic win was part of a bigger moment as Denzel Washington won Best Actor for Training Day and the late Sidney Poitier received an Honorary Oscar. Of course, her speech was the most memorable as she felt a door had been opened. The John Wick 3 actress looked back the moment with less idealism, saying to The New York Times:

It didn’t open the door. The fact that there’s no one standing next to me is heartbreaking.

Standing in a category by herself came off as lonely. To look back two decades later, and say nothing has changed since then, had to be gut-wrenching for Berry to admit. Since her win, only six other Black women have been nominated in the category, including last year’s nominees Viola Davis and Andra Day. But that didn’t stop the Hollywood vet from praising other actresses like Davis and Lena Waithe for making huge strides in Hollywood. The Moonfall actress gave some perspective on how the award wasn’t the only measure of success.

We can’t always judge success or progress by how many awards we have. Awards are the icing on the cake — they’re your peers saying you were exceptionally excellent this year — but does that mean that if we don’t get the exceptionally excellent nod, that we were not great, and we’re not successful, and we’re not changing the world with our art, and our opportunities aren’t growing?

Winning an Oscar has provided the actress with a plethora of opportunities, but she doesn’t see the honor as the only sign of Hollywood success. Berry has been very candid about her experience as a Black woman in Hollywood a multitude of times. She opened up about being the lone Black Leading Actress Oscar winner as she spoke on the Academy Award not being the end-all-be-all, while highlighting the proliferation of Black women in film and television. Even before her historic win, the Oscar winner mentioned seeing Black women on the big and small screen aspiring her growing up, including Best Actress nominees Dorothy Dandridge and Diahann Carroll.

Unfortunately, this year saw no Black actresses nominated for Best Actress. King Richard’s Aunjanue Ellis, who opened up about pay equality in Hollywood, did score a Best Supporting Actress nom for this year’s Oscars. Hopefully, those stats will change soon. If you want to revisit her Oscar-winning performance in Monster’s Ball and her other amazing roles, check out some of Halle Berry’s best movies. You can look over upcoming movies to see what else the actress has in store.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).