Berry, Michelle Rodriguez speak out on diversity and
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[June 29, 2017]
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -
Halle Berry, the only black woman to ever win a best
actress Oscar, said her 2002 win turned out to be
meaningless, and "Fast and Furious" star Michelle
Rodriguez warned she may quit the action movie franchise
unless filmmakers "show some love for women."
Their comments proved a reality check for women
in Hollywood on Wednesday even as the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences said it invited 298 more women to join its
ranks in a bid to improve diversity at the organization behind
Berry in 2002 won the best actress Oscar for "Monster's Ball"
becoming the first black woman to do so. Fifteen years on, she
remains the only woman of color to get the honor.
"Wow, that moment really meant nothing. It meant nothing. I
thought it meant something, but I think it meant nothing," she
told Teen Vogue editor Elaine Welteroth in a video interview at
the Cannes Lion festival released late Tuesday.
Berry said she reached that troubling conclusion in 2016 when
all 20 of the Oscar acting nominees were white, sparking the #OscarsSoWhite
"I was profoundly hurt by that, and saddened by that," Berry
said, adding that it had prompted her to want to start directing
and producing to make more opportunities for actors of color.
Elsewhere, Rodriguez, who plays Vin Diesel's love interest in
five of the eight "Fast and Furious" box office hits, suggested
she was prepared to quit her role as tough street racer Letty
Ortiz over the portrayal of women.
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"F8 (the 8th film) is out digitally today," she
wrote on her Instagram account on Tuesday above a montage of
photos from the film.
"I hope they decide to show some love to the women
of the franchise on the next one or I just might have to say goodbye
to a loved franchise," she continued.
It's not the first time Rodriguez has spoken out.
In an interview in May with Entertainment Weekly, she said women in
action films should have "more female camaraderie, (and have) women
do things independently outside of what the boys are doing - now
that is truly the voice of female independence."
The "Fast and Furious" franchise has taken in more than $5 billion
at the box office worldwide since 2001 and two more films are
planned for release in 2019 and 2021.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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