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Halle Berry Says Historic Oscar Win Is One Of Her ‘Biggest Heartbreaks’

Julia Banim

| Last updated 

Halle Berry Says Historic Oscar Win Is One Of Her 'Biggest Heartbreaks'PA

Halle Berry has opened up about her historic Oscar win in 2002, describing it as being one of her ‘biggest heartbreaks’.

Berry, 54, received the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in the romantic drama Monster’s Ball, becoming the very first Black woman in the history of the awards to do so.


To this day, Berry remains the only Black woman to have won this award, leading her to question whether her award had been as meaningful long-term as she had initially hoped it would be.

Halle Berry PA

During an interview with Variety about her directorial debut, Bruised, Berry expressed her astonishment that her breakthrough didn’t lead to other Black women winning the award:

I thought Cynthia [Erivo, the star of Harriet] was going to do it last year. I thought Ruth [Negga, nominated for 2016’s Loving] had a really good shot at it too.

I thought there were women that rightfully, arguably, could have, should have. I hoped they would have, but why it hasn’t gone that way, I don’t have the answer.


She added:

It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks. The morning after, I thought, ‘Wow, I was chosen to open a door.’ And then, to have no one… I question, ‘Was that an important moment, or was it just an important moment for me?’

I wanted to believe it was so much bigger than me. It felt so much bigger than me, mainly because I knew others should have been there before me and they weren’t.

Halle BerryJulia Banim

The Academy has previously been criticised for showing a lack of diversity, sparking the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in 2015, when each of the 20 acting nominations were given to White actors.


In a recent bid to encourage greater diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be introducing an inclusion requirement for Best Picture consideration at the Oscars from 2024 onwards.

Films hoping to qualify for Best Picture will first need to meet inclusion standards designed to bring about greater diversity both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

In a statement, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said:

While the Academy has made strides, we know there is much more work to be done in order to ensure equitable opportunities across the board.

The need to address this issue is urgent. To that end, we will amend – and continue to examine – our rules and procedures to ensure that all voices are heard and celebrated.


The Academy is implementing these new requirements with the view of encouraging ‘equitable representation on and off screen’, reflecting ‘the diversity of the movie-going audience’.

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Topics: Film and TV, Diversity, Halle Berry, Now, Oscars


Variety and 1 other
  1. Variety

    How Halle Berry Fought Her Way to the Director’s Chair

  2. The Academy/Twitter


Julia Banim
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