Given the way Black people are treated in this country, it should come as no surprise really that Black press aren’t prioritized when it comes to covering Hollywood’s biggest stars.
I’ll never forget the media outlets who were chosen to interview the cast of Black Panther. Let’s just say that for the most part, Black journalists were limited to a group interview, while mainstream, White publications got one-on-one time with the talent. It’s a common—almost ubiquitous occurrence. On red carpets, Black press are placed at the very end of the line, so that by the time the stars make their way down there, it’s time for them to go—or that’s what their publicists tell us.
It was an issue detailed by Keyaira Kelly for Hello Beautiful and discussed openly and more widespread when Jaleesa Sashay of Blacktree TV asked Sterling K. Brown, at the Emmys whether or not he was even aware of the disparities and the discrimination that Black journalists face in gaining access and opportunities to Hollywood’s biggest stars, Black, White and otherwise.
Perhaps the conversation with Sterling spawned a shift in the industry or maybe Halle Berry has always noticed the ways in which Black media outlets are iced out. Either way, she took a stand on the red carpet promoting her film John Wick 3 and it was a beautiful thing.
The moment was detailed by journalist Emerald Marie.
“Tonight, Halle Berry interviewed with everybody. I was the only Black woman on the carpet and there was only one Black male. As soon as they got in front of Lamar and myself, her PR said she had no time to speak to us and they began to walk away. I prepared all day. I was super excited. Who doesn’t want to talk to Halle Berry? And she looked at me and she looked at Lamar and she said, ‘I can’t skip my brother and my sister.’ And she turned back around and walked right up to us and we interviewed her. And I feel like—I’m not gon’ lie, I don’t know why I got emotional and I still am but I take so much pride in being Black and being one of the only Black faces in so many places that I’m in and I just felt like for her to turn around and give us that opportunity, I have a newfound respect for Halle Berry. I just want to encourage every Black woman and male to continue to break barriers in all of these industries because our faces will be seen and our voices will be heard.”
These red carpet moments happen all the time. But rarely are they captured on camera. But in this instance, you can see it all unfold, from the publicist who said they didn’t have time, to Halle Berry turning around for her people. It was amazing. A very small gesture on Halle Berry’s part but representative of so much more in the lives of Black journalists.
And people had something to say about the moment.