Halle Berry says her 2002 Oscar win ‘didn’t open the door’

Halle Berry made history in 2002 when she became the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Two decades later, however, no other African American lady has received the award.

The ‘X-Men’ star, 55, looked back on the evening and admitted she didn’t think much progress had been made for actresses of color.

“Back then, if you didn’t win the Globe, you didn’t really get the Oscar,” Berry recently told the New York Times.

She added, “So I pretty much resigned myself to thinking, ‘It’s great to be here, but I’m not going to win.'”

Sissy Spacek won the Golden Globe earlier this year for her role in the film In the Bedroom. Berry received an Oscar in 2002 for the drama “Monster’s Ball,” a gripping story of a grieving mother and widow.

“He didn’t answer the door,” Berry continued. “The fact that there is no one standing next to me is heartbreaking.”

Denzel Washington, Best Actor honoree, and Halle Berry, Best Actress honoree, in the press room of the 74th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, USA at the 24 New Home, the Kodak Theater in the heart of Hollywood, California.  (Photo by David LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Denzel Washington, Best Actor and Halle Berry, Best Actress at the 74th Academy Awards in March 2002.
Gamma Rapho via Getty Images

The “Swordfish” star said: “We can’t always measure success or progress by how many awards we have.”

“Awards are the icing on the cake — they’re your peers saying you’ve been exceptionally good this year,” she told the outlet. “But does that mean that if we don’t get the extraordinarily excellent nod, does that mean we haven’t been great and we’re not succeeding and changing the world with our art and our possibilities aren’t growing? ”

At last year’s Academy Awards, two black women were nominated for their performances – Viola Davis for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

But this year’s show has no black women nominated for best actress.

At the time of her victory, Berry said in her moving speech: “This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women standing next to me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color who has a chance now because that door opened tonight.”

Berry also recalled to the New York Times the emotions she felt that fateful night. “I have no recollection of it,” she remarked. “I don’t even know how I got up there. It was an absolute blackout moment. All I remember is Russell Crowe saying, “Breathe, mate.” And then I had a gold statue in my hand and I just started talking.”

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