Halle Berry Comments on Oscars Diversity Controversy: 'It's Heartbreaking'

The actress is the only woman of color to ever win an Oscar for "Best Actress."

February 2, 2016, 7:06 PM

— -- Halle Berry is speaking out about the Oscars diversity controversy.

Berry appeared at the 2016 MAKERS Conference at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. on Tuesday, and discussed the criticism that the Academy Awards are facing due to the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations.

The 49-year-old actress is the first and only African-American woman to win an Academy Award for "Best Actress," for her role in 2001's "Monster Ball." Berry stated that the fact that no other woman of color has won a "Best Actress" Oscar since then is "heartbreaking."

"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," Berry said. "I believed that in that moment, that when I said ‘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."

"To sit here almost 15 years later, and knowing that another woman of color 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," she continued.

Berry joined actors such as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith, George Clooney, and Spike Lee, who have all spoken out about diversity in Hollywood.

Berry also noted that she believes that Hollywood is not producing "truthful" films because of the lack of diversity onscreen.

“It’s really about truth telling. And as filmmakers and as actors, we have a responsibility to tell the truth," Berry said. "And the films, I think, that are 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 color in our American culture.”

The 2016 Academy Awards will air on Sunday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.

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