Halle Berry addresses ‘heartbreaking’ Oscars race row

The actress has accused Hollywood of not telling the truth with the nominations list

Halle Berry has broken her silence on The Oscars diversity controversy, calling it “heartbreaking”.

Berry’s comments come following a huge backlash over the dominance of white actors on this year’s nominations list, with not a single black, Asian or Hispanic performer put forward for a Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor or Supporting Actress Academy Award.

Berry, who is the only African-American actress to win an Academy Award for Best Actress, confronted what she described as “the elephant in the room” at the 2016 Makers Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday (2 February).

Speaking of her win for Monster Ball back in 2001, Berry stated: “Honestly, that win almost 15 years ago was iconic. It was important to me, but I had the knowing in the moment that it was bigger than me.”

“I believed that in that moment, that when I said [in my acceptance speech], ‘The door tonight has been opened,’ I believed that with every bone in my body that this was going to incite change because this door, this barrier, had been broken.”

She continued: “And to sit here almost 15 years later, and knowing that another woman of colour has not walked through that door, is heartbreaking.”

“It’s heartbreaking because I thought that moment was bigger than me. It’s heartbreaking to start to think maybe it wasn’t bigger than me. Maybe it wasn’t. And I so desperately felt like it was.”

Berry went on to accuse Hollywood of failing to portray the American existence accurately, adding: “It’s really about truth-telling. And as film-makers and as actors, we have a responsibility to tell the truth.

“The films, I think, coming out of Hollywood aren’t truthful. And the reason they’re not truthful, these days, is that they’re not really depicting the importance and the involvement and the participation of people of colour in our American culture.”


As a result, the likes of director Spike Lee, Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith have announced that they would be boycotting The Oscars ceremony, which will be hosted by comedian Chris Rock in LA on February 28.

Oscars 2016: Full list of nominations for 88th Academy Awards