In 2002, Halle Berry made history. She was the first black woman to win the lead actress Oscar for her role in Marc Forster's "Monster's Ball." In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the win to "the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett [Smith], Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox."
"And it's for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened," she said. "Thank you. I'm so honored."
But 15 years later, the door allegedly opened that night has not seen another woman of color enter it since. That's not because lack of talent or nominations.
Damien Chazelle won the best director Oscar for his film “La La Land,” a candy-colored musical romance starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. At 32, Chazelle became the youngest person to win in the director category.
Last year, his film “Whiplash” was nominated for five Oscars, including best picture.
In an essay on musicals for The Times, Chazelle wrote, “I wanted to make a movie that would embrace the magic of musicals but root it in the rhythms and texture of real life. I wanted the dances to feel like honest extensions of the characters’ feelings. I wanted to make it seem as though breaking into song were the most natural thing in the world. I wanted to make a movie about how life feels when you're in love and full of dreams in the big city. “