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Halle Berry Says the Oscars' Continued Lack of Diversity Is "Heartbreaking"

Not much has changed since Berry won 14 years ago

Sadie Gennis

Halle Berry, who became the first black woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002, broke her silence on the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominees.

"Honestly, that win almost 15 years ago was iconic," Berry said at the Makers Conference, as reported by The Gaurdian. "It was important to me, but I [knew] in the moment that it was bigger than me. ... In that moment when I said 'The door tonight has been opened,' I believed with every bone in my body that this was going to incite change because this door, this barrier, had been broken."

Berry says she's devastated to see that the door has remained shut, even 14 years later. For the second consecutive year, the Oscar race includes zero acting nominations for people of color.

President Obama speaks out about Oscars diversity issue

"To sit here almost 15 years later, and knowing that another woman of color has not walked through that door, is heartbreaking," she said. "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."

Following the outcry over the all-white nominees, the Academy announced a radical plan to double female and diverse members by 2020. However, as many have pointed out, the diversity issue goes far beyond the Academy and is indicative of an overall lack of diversity within Hollywood, particularly regarding executives with the power to greenlight projects.

"It's really about truth-telling," Berry said. "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 color in our American culture."