In 2002, Berry became the first African-American woman to win the Best Actress Oscar — but it seems like that did it change anything. In a recent interview with Teen Vogue, the actress reflected on how the optimistic prediction she made in her historic Oscar victory speech has so far not come to pass.
“I was pretty sure Sissy Spacek was going to win. That [sentiment] just was what was ruminating in my spirit during that whole process,” Halle said about the year she won in a conversation with Teen Vogue. She continued that the 2016 nominations, which started the #OscarsSoWhite movement, got her thinking that nothing has really changed.
“I sat there and I really thought, ‘Wow, that moment really meant nothing. It meant nothing. I thought it meant something, but I think it meant nothing,’” Halle said. “I was profoundly hurt by that, and saddened by that. 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 making more opportunities for people of color. I have conversations more deeply with Academy members, and I’m trying to figure out how to help and add more diversity to the Academy.”
“These kinds of groups have to start changing and have to become more conscious and more inclusive,” Halle continued. “I think black people . . . people of color . . . only have a chance to win based on how much we’re allowed to put out. That says to me that we need more people of color writing, directing, producing—not just starring. We have to start telling stories that include us.”