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Hating Halle Berry: Oscar Injustices Revealed

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Out in Hollywood there are many actors that I admire. Many. And when it comes to black actors, not only do I admire the great ones, but I cheer them on because they’re breaking down boundaries and jumping over brick walls that want to keep them playing junkies, dead beat dads, and “the help”. Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Angela Bassett–to name a few–are all wonderful talents and their gifts should be revered. Why is it though, that some actors are taking buckets of glory for nothing? After years of playing unchallenging and boring roles, act, they are recgonized as if they’ve gone above and beyond.

Angela Basset’s performance in What’s Love Got To Do With It?…brilliant. Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Kimberly Elise in Set It Off…riveting. Denzel in, well, everything ever…amazing. So many good performances. Why is it, then, that a black actress finally wins the Academy Award for Best Actress and it’s pretty-faced but shit-for-talent Halle Berry? “Can you make me feel good? Can you make me feeel gooood?! CAN YOU MAKE ME FEEL GOOOOOD?!,” she growls. No, Halle, I can’t, but I’m sure that Oscar sure did.

What film has this woman ever been in that has impressed people? Let’s look at her filmography.

Jungle Fever
-Random crackhead. Congrats, you’re an actress.

The Flinstones
-You know you’ve made it big when Barney Rubble loves your work.

Losing Isaiah
-Crackhead again. Well shit. Where’s the Academy when you need ’em?

Executive Decision
-Effective performance here in a pretty general blockbuster kind of herione role. Nothing to brag about.

The Rich Man’s Wife
-Remember this film? Me neither.

-This performance, although it gave me a chuckle, was nothing more than what Brett Ratner could get out of LaShawntae Jackson selling herself in East Harlem after an acting lesson or two.

-If the most anyone remembers from one of your films is you dancing with Warren Beatty and sticking out your tongue, you know you’re in for a Razzie.

Why Do Fools Fall In Love?
-What a waste of Vivica A. Fox’s talent. What a waste of America’s time watching Halle embarass herself on screen once more. Wait…you can’t waste America’s time if America doesn’t care to GO SEE THE FILM. BOMB. Yet again.

Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
-I must give Berry her props here. This movie and her performance in it was actually pretty good. If only good acting wasn’t a one time gig.

-And here’s where I rant. X-Men, being my favorite comic-book franchise ever, was an excellent film, and X2 was even better. But there’s one problem…where’s Ororo Monroe, or as most people know her, Storm? I’ve watched both movies many times and still haven’t found her, even after playing a few games of “Where’s Wald–er–Storm?”. Berry doesn’t attempt an accent, or a voice for the character, doesn’t read into any of the subtext, and plays her like a weak, prissy, damsel who is all sex and no bite or bark. Storm is the one of the frickin’ leaders of the X-Men, Halle! Storm is strong, Storm is passionate, Storm is powerful. Maybe you would’ve found that out had you picked up even one issue of any of the X-Men series, watched any episodes of the 90s television cartoon, or talked to any devout fan of the franchise. Good going, Halle. I smell a Golden Globe.

-Iiiiiiii’ve got saggy tits! That’s all I, or anyone else I know thinks of when referring to Halle in this campy film.

Monster’s Ball
-And now we arrive at it:Monster’s Ball. Yes, this is a pretty good film, and yes Halle Berry’s performance is effective. But effective is far from excellent. Dear Jesus, Halle took off her make-up and spread her legs (literally. No really…she literally spreads her legs and moans in the much buzzed about explicit sex scene in this film)–let’s give her a statue! I am appalled and disgusted that Halle won an Oscar for this film. And I know what you’re all thinking. “Who are you? The Academy obviously liked the performance, so shut the eff up.” But here’s my theory. I really don’t think she won the Oscar for this movie based solely on performance (though I know, this is the case a lot). I truly think her win for this film was more political than anything. I feel like the Academy felt like it was finally time for a black woman to win Best Actress, and Halle happened to let a few sunspots show on camera just at the right time for it to happen. Denzel and Halle win in the same night, it’ll shut those racism accusations up for another 5 years. What a disgrace.

What do you all think about Halle’s win, her performance in X-Men and Monster’s Ball? What other performances do you think were awarded that shouldn’t have been? Tell me about all the Oscar injustices.

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About Chris Evans

  • Andrew

    I personally think Halle Berry is a great actress, and have no idea what you’re talking about. Obviously if she won an academy award, someone thinks she’s pretty good

  • Andrew, I explained IN the article why I think they gave her the award.

  • Not to mention, just because someone wins an award, doesn’t necessarily make them a great actor.

  • reggie von woic

    Halle isn’t quite a great actress, but in that year i think she deserved the oscar above the others who were nominated alongside her.

  • No, I’m sorry–Nicole in Moulin Rouge, and Sissy Spacek in In The Bedroom–those were great performances.

  • -E

    Isn’t she the one that won on accident because the one announcing it read the wrong name? I know there was some actress recently that got Best Actress that has rumors circulating that wasn’t the right winner.

  • If that is the case, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised. I don’t know how that woman could possibly be considered Academy Award worthy.

  • -E

    Well that role wasn’t particularly demanding or challenging. I wouldn’t have thought anyone would be nominated for an award for that one.

  • Barry

    I think Halle Berry is really a talented actor and this article seems to border on racist if you ask me.

  • I don’t see how you figure this article is racist at all…

  • You don’t like Halle Berry. Halle Berry is black. Therefore you are a racist. Q.E.D.

    (Note for the many Netizens who are extraordinarily humor-impaired: that was sarcasm. In reality there is nothing whatsoever racist about this article, except maybe failing to acknowledge Berry’s brilliant work in Catwoman.)

    (Note for the same people the previous note was for: Yes, that last bit was another joke.)

  • Barry

    He’s trying to say that she won because they wanted to give it to black woman. How that isn’t racist is beyond me

  • Jennifer

    Barry, you missed the complete point of the article. If you think it’s racist, you’ve completely misinterpreted it.

  • uao

    I just have a thing against spoiled, pampered, millionaire hit-and-run drivers, myself.

  • Barry

    You all continue to pander to this devout racist. I don’t see you complaining about Sean Penn’s win for Mystic River. That was a fucking fluke. Yet you concur that Halle shouldn’t have won even though EVERYONE ELSE thought she should have!

  • Troy

    “Out in Hollywood there are many actors that I admire. Many. And when it comes to black actors, not only do I admire the great ones, but I cheer them on because they’re breaking down boundaries and jumping over brick walls that want to keep them playing junkies, dead beat dads, and “the help”. Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, Alfre Woodard, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Angela Bassett–to name a few–are all wonderful talents and their gifts should be revered. Why is it though, that some actors are taking buckets of glory for nothing?”

    What he’s SAYING.. is that he doesn’t think Halle deserved to win. And that the reason she won was because they wanted to pick a black woman so that they wouldn’t seem racist anymore. She wasn’t picked based on her talent. Chris is trying to say, that there are so many other truly talented and deserving black actors and actresses out there, but, unfortunately, they picked Halle instead.

    You’re obviously misunderstanding the article. :\

  • Barry

    No, Troy. I think you’re misunderstanding the article, dumbass. At what point exactly does he ever say there are other deserving black actors?

  • Troy

    …Read the first part of the article. And first part of my post.

  • Barry

    Okay I see that now. But even still. The entire article doesn’t make sense and is completely incoherent. I went to “Chris'” blog and read his writing including his short stories or whatever,and they’re all crap.

    Now back to this, she won an academy award like I said before. So how exactly is she a bad actress again?

    And Troy, once again. You’re an idiot

  • How is the article incoherent? Everyone else seemed to be able to grasp it but you. And I love how you attack my writing since you have no valid argument for the apparent “racism” in this article. And…how are you going to call Troy an idiot when YOU are the one the missed the whole first part and the POINT of this article?

  • Baronius

    The new Oscar trend has been “Best Performance by a Good-Looking Woman Who Looks Ugly”.

    Hilary Swank twice, not that she’s the prettiest, but she looked like a guy! and a boxer! That’s good acting, right? Nicole Kidman for her performance in “Nose Putty”. Halle Berry without makeup. Charlize Theron for looking imperfect for the first time in her life.

    There’s a theory for you, and it has nothing to do with talent or race.

  • Baronius

    Not to deny that Hollywood got a p.c. kick out of its “openness”.

  • Halle is not a great actress, but somehow she pulled out a great performance in Monster’s Ball. Maybe it was the director, maybe she had an amazing acting coach, who knows? But I would have given it to her, even over Sissy Spacek, who was excellent.

    But, I have to ask…Halle won that a couple years ago. Why debate it now? It’s kind of dated. Is there a black actress you think is getting overlooked this year? Because none of your examples of good performances from black actors are from this year.

  • It’s something that’s been bothering me for quite a while, and just finally mustered up the patience to write about it.

  • I don’t know if I fully agree with the “getting ugly” theory. I definitely think a physical change in a performance gives an actor an edge over the other competitors but Charlize’s performance in Monster, Nicole’s in The Hours, and both of Hilary’s performances in Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby are all really wonderful performances that deserved their wins. But Halle’s on the other hand, I do think a lot of it had to do with her “getting ugly”, as she was always considered a really “pretty actress”, but honestly I think it more had to do with giving it to a black actress finally. Give it to Denzel and Halle and we’ve paid our “black dues”, right? Don’t get me wrong, Denzel deserved his and has deserved it for a VERY long time, but I love how after years of brilliant performances, they finally give it to him for a good performance where he plays a fucking corrupt cop.

  • Baronius

    I believe that Denzel Washington should be barred from the Best Actor category, and Gene Hackman from Best Supporting Actor, because it’s just unfair. Has anyone ever walked out of a movie theater saying, “Great movie, but Denzel (or Hackman) fell flat. They should have hired someone better.”?

  • Whaa’? Jewish? Lmao.

  • dade

    hes not jewish idiot… hes a gay black male

  • James

    I actually agree with Barry. Even with the mention of the other great black actors and performances, it seems as if he’s arguing the “they shouldn’t get handouts” or “special treatment” argument

  • nick

    Some of Halle’s greatest lines in movies:

    “Do you know what happens when a toad is struck by lightning? Same thing happens to everything else!” – X-Men

    “Yo mama!” – Die Another Day

  • Worst actress EVER. And her Storm makes baby Jesus cry.

  • local_boy

    it aint racist..and Halle did deserve the award..her performance was great…i know not all her movies have been huge blockbusters but all it takes is one movie…thats why she won the oscar for best actress for 2001…duh…its for one year..she excelled that year

  • Gemini Gurl

    funny how you get wraped up when an aspiring black actress such as Halle Berry wins an oscar but you never seem to complain when a rising white person wins an Oscar

  • Are you kidding, Gemini Gurl? Do you remember when Marisa Tomei won the Oscar for “My Cousin Vinny”? EVERYBODY complained about it.

  • First of all, as Michael pointed out, there ARE white actors and actresses who have caused upsets at the awards.

    Second, my whole POINT was that it was a monumental event–her being the first black actress to win in that category–and there were other actresses before her that gave MUCH better performances in MUCH better films that should’ve have gotten it. THAT’S why I focused on the issue of race.

  • Gemini Gurl

    I always wanted Angela basset to win…shes a phenomenal actress..halle berry may not be the best..but she starred in a great movie…

  • local_boy

    racism is not the issue here…talent is…but with the academy, talent relies only on one movie…true…Halle hasn’t been on a streak but so have a lot of great actresses and actors..

  • My whole point though, is that I think race WAS the issue.

  • Heloise

    How did this guy get a column? How does anyone get a column? Anyway, good and thoughtful article. Show it to Oprah.

    Chris have you seen the upcoming commercials for Oprah’s next “Legends?” Where women of color come together to celebrate whatever? Well, have you noticed that many of the most-tauted of those women “of color” are biracial or octaroons?

    You might take this same article and apply it to Alicia Keys. I mean think of all the freakin people who play piano, sing and write songs, there must be millions out there, but they don’t look like Keys. Black entertainers have admitted that she won all those damn grammies because she is light while India Arie didn’t win much or a damn thing and has gotten little recognition compared to her whiter cohorts.

    I ask you is that fair? Yes, life is fair like it or not. It was just Halle’s turn. Perhaps she had been the tragic Dorothy Dandridge. I rest my case.


  • Jennifer Lemari

    so chris…first you said this article isnt racist…now your saying that the whole issue is race…that says a lot about you…you have a lot in common with John Kerry…your both indecisive and your always so eager to play both sides…take a hint…take one side and stick with it…is it on race or not…

  • Gemini Gurl

    Chris you said that Angela basset and Vivica A. Fox are great actresses but did you know that they gave up the movie role that Halle Berry took on in Monster’s Ball…they didn’t want to do it because of the sex scene which halle did with billy bob thorton…thats why the academy gave the Oscar to her…they like actors who risk it all…

  • Whaa’? Just because I say that something isn’t racist doesn’t mean it doesn’t DEAL with race, Jennifer. There is nothing indecisive about this article. You might wanna read it again, sweetheart.

  • Second, given the fact that I AM half-black..accusations of me being racist against black people hardly even makes sense–nor does it affect me at all.

    Third, yes, I did know that Angela was offered the role (I highly doubt Vivica was), but what exactly are you trying to say?

    The reason she didn’t take the role is because she didn’t want black women portrayed on screen in that way–it’s nothing to do with “risking it all”

  • I think she deserves the Oscar for her part in Mosnters Ball, it doesn’t matter color actors are, good perfomance is good performance. And it should be awarded likewise.

  • reggie von woic

    It was a tough one on that year with Halle, Kidman and Sissy. I was OK with whoever got the oscar…i dont, however, think i’d have been happier had anyone else gotten it.

    Halle deserved an Oscar for that movie and that movie alone . The rest of her acting is…just watch catwoman.

  • Jennifer Lemari

    well, a lot of women have been portrayed that way on screen…women of different races…but to be portrayed like that on screen has nothing to do with dignity….its a movie for crying out loud…you have to do what youve got to do to give a real performance

  • You’re preaching to the choir. I would have done the role–send your letters to Angela Bassett.

  • In the words of Homer Simpson, it’s funny because it’s TRUE.

    Chris, I posted a link to your column here; hope that was okay. Would you believe an idiot at IMDb.com said that Halle Berry was a better actress than Angela Bassett because Halle has had TOUGHER ROLES than Angela!?!?!?

  • You’ve GOT to be kidding me.

    Apparently none of those people have seen “What’s Love Got To Do With It” or “Waiting To Exhale”

  • reggie von woic

    I checked and it appears that Halle won 4 other ‘Best Actress’ awards for her performance in monster’s ball.

    Halle better than Basset…. LMAO!!

  • LMAO!


  • I have to disagree with you, Chris. I saw all of the Best Actress nominees that year, and Halle Berry was definitely the best. Sissy Spacek’s “In The Bedroom” displayed nothing but anger. Nicole Kidman’s Moulin Rouge put me to sleep. Renee Zellwegger was good in “Chicago”, but still didn’t deserve the Oscar.

    In “Monster’s Ball”, Halle Berry showed anger, sadness, grief, happiness, abuse, and everything else in between. Who else provided the same range of emotions that year? Answer: Nobody.

  • Simply showing a range of emotions does not constitute good acting.

  • Craig

    I heard the “Can you make me feel good?” line on talk radio (they were grilling her too) and it sounded like she was faking a fake orgasm. I also heard that her topless scene in Swordfish wasn’t originally in the script, she offered to do it for twice what they were already paying her. Talk about whoring herself out.

  • craig, i believe it was $250,000 per boob.
    Would you have said no to that?

  • Joe

    It’s not racism.

  • Jack

    Halle Berry did win the Oscar because she was an African-American. People were crying about how African-Americans never won any Oscars. Look at HISTORY. In the past African-Americans hardly won any Oscars, but a few won like Hattie McDaniel and Sidney Poitier, and then all of a sudden two win in one night and they win all the categories they’re nominated for? It’s so obvious. After 74 years of this never happening, why did it happen that night? Oh yeah…

  • Casey Lunkley

    “Simply showing a range of emotions does not constitute good acting.”

    You’ve got to be joking, Chris. That’s all acting IS. Showing, and making the audience believe you’re feeling the emotions is Oscar material, whether you choose to believe it or not.

  • Critical of PC

    Just stumbled onto this article, and I must say it’s pretty much what I was thinking the whole time. What is terrible about Halle Berry winning an Oscar is that it cheapens what otherwise would have been viewed as a “legitimate” win for Denzel Washington. The fact that the night Denzel wins is also the night that Halle Berry wins, Sydney Poitier is honored, and Whoopi Goldberg is hosting for the (hopefully) last time, it makes it seem that there is a definite agenda with the AMPAS, and not wins based solely on talent.

    The recent wins by Morgan Freeman and Jamie Foxx for Oscars also seem suspect. My interpretation for that one is that Morgan Freeman was “due,” and so the Academy decided to “give” one away to another black actor to stave off racism charges.The same holds true for Berry and Washington. But this doesn’t have the right effect. What sounds more like a realistic situation? Multiple awards to blacks the same year that the host is black and the honoree is black, or one black win in a major category that year? Seems to me if Washington and Freeman were the only black people who won on their respective nights, it would never have raised as many questions.

    But when the token award is so glaringly noticeable, it cheapens both the legitimate win of the other black actor and also calls into question past wins that seem “wrong.”

  • fanny

    She doesn’t have the ability to play with passion. She has no depth. It seem like she is reading a script. Despite her good looks, which helped her alot, she is not a good actress.

  • razzy

    I think that Halle has worked her ass of to win all the awards she has. Your article sounds like your have somthing agianst her personaly. why didnt you talk about any other actresses who have caused an up roar in hollywood. And you make dumb ass remarks in her filmography. Any one can do that and make any one look bad. If you dont like Halle berry’s acting. then dont watch her movies.

  • razzy

    Halle berry won her oscar because of her performance. they didnt pick her by saying “Well no Black people have won so lets just pick halle berry just because she is black.” no it doesnt work like that i know im not an expert but I judge people on there performanes and how they act. Halle isnt a stuck up bimbo. who goes walking around like she own the world.

  • Coco

    Halle Berry is a terrible actress. I completely agree with Chris Evans every point he makes is valid and those of you who dont understand are idiots because you’re blinded by Halle’s face. You all are probably white. White people never want to admit their faults. Wake up! White man runs the world and at times he acts like he’s openminded with other races all just to get on everyone’s good side! Thats what the Golden Globe does! Give her an award cuz if we dont hurry up and award a black woman those black people will start a Hollowood NAACP on us. You all are a bunch of Shallow retards.

  • Gregory T

    Just bunch of bored haters. Sitin in their chair and disscussing Black Woman. One questio yo yall?

    R u all White folk. Article is not racist but comments are. at least most of them. People if there is way delete this shit out of here.

  • Glen M

    I hate hearing comments about how she won because of the sex scene.

    This was a demanding role. It was a risk that could’ve gone horribly wrong (see Showgirls’ lead star). Some people didn’t get it. The journey that Halle’s character takes from the beginning (when she had to berate a child who is obese, tough gig) to the end (where while eating ice cream, having just learned about her current lover’s connection to her ex-husband, she looks at the grave of her lover’s son and you see the look in her eye. The decision her character chose to make. Subtle, powerful.) The sex scene was a bit graphic, but it was so symbolic for the both characters’ arcs.

    It’s a shame that some people choose to reduce her performance to just winning cuz the sex scene. It’s because of the ingnorance of some people to know what it takes to act that role.


  • jessiebear

    i think she is an overall great actrice, and she deserved it.

  • Williams

    Halle Berry is a travesty – I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything where I’ve been convinced of her performance. Everything she says or does seems to me to be transparent and takes me out of suspended disbelief for every scene she is in. All I see is her acting sad or angry, not being sad or angry, etc. And of course, she whores herself out, or the directors constantly have her doing erotic/semi erotic scenes that are supposed to take our minds off of how horrible her acting is. It’s like watching those terrible B 80’s movies where everything is so bad, but there’s always some gratuitous nudity and sex to keep teenaged boys watching it. That’s just about everything she’s been in. The film I actually liked her in, sadly enough, is X-Men (1&2), mostly because she didn’t have very much screen time. She butchered Storm, but at least we only og ta couple of cheesy lines and the rest of the time she just looked pretty with all the other pretty actors. Then she returned to ruin the third one because she and everyone else decided she was a big star and needed more of a leading role. Boo-urns to you Halle. Boo-urns.

  • A.

    You guys want to know what a demanding role is? Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got to Do with it.

    They wanted to pick someone who was black, but wasn’t too black.

  • Film Fan

    I didn’t read all the posts, but to put it plainly, the Academy revealed in 2002 that it has an agenda, and that “winning” isn’t based on real merit. Halle Berry got her Oscar (not won, mind you, but got) because she was the right color that year. Does it seem like a coincidence that the hostess, the lifetime achievement awardee, and Best Actor were all black? Not for one minute.

    Does it also seem like a coincidence that the Academy plays to blacks every other year now with no less than two awards in major categories?

    Denzel Washington was due, but TRAINING DAY was not the performance that he should have gotten the Oscar for. Morgan Freeman was due for a looong time, but Jamie Foxx got that year’s Halle Berry Oscar, the token one that wasn’t actually earned. Same for Jennifer Hudson. I also have serious misgivings regarding Forrest Whitaker.

    Think about it. EVERY OTHER YEAR no less than TWO black actors win Oscars now. It lowers the Oscars in my eyes because now it’s a quota game, Affirmative Action Oscars.

    With the “Halle Berry Oscar,” gone are the days of great performances and memorable characters winning legitimately. It makes me wonder if “legitimate wins” were ever real at all. Now people will actually call an illegitimate or dubious Oscar “win” a “Halle Berry Oscar.” A sad state of affairs, and a real shame to see another institution cave to the Communist Russia concept of “Political Correctness.”

  • oopsy

    she won an oscar – should have had been at the top of her game – but – trashed her career by accepting parts deemed unbecoming of an oscar winning actor. catwoman, x-men 123, james bond, she lost all credibility, people will never forgive her for that.