"The first time I read the script for Bruised... I realized the role wasn't written for someone who looked like me. So I went to the producers, and I asked, 'Why not me? Why can't it be a black woman?' They said, 'Why not?' Later on, they told me, 'Go find a director.' And finally, I summoned the courage to say, 'Why not me?' They said, 'Why not?'" she recalled. "Finally, when the film came out, I asked someone what he thought of the move. He said, 'I have a hard time watching a woman getting battered and beaten. It made me feel uncomfortable.'"
"And in that moment, I knew exactly why I had to tell the story. I knew exactly the power of the story," she continued. "Because I said, 'If you had a hard time, if it made you uncomfortable watching that story, imagine being that woman, living that story.'"
"This is why I am so grateful to be standing and living in this moment where women are standing up and we are telling our own stories," Berry continued in part. "Because you know why? We will write, we will produce, we will direct, and if we are brave enough, we will start in it, all at the same time!"
"We will tell stories that capture us fully in all of our multitudes and contradictions. We are confident and we're scared. We are vulnerable and we're strong. We are beautiful and we're bruised. We're everything and all of it -- and all at the same time!" Berry declared to cheers. "Because if we deny our complexity, then we deny our humanity. We won't always be pretty and we will never be perfect. But what we will be is always honest and true, no matter how uncomfortable that makes you."
Berry concluded by dedicating the SeeHer honor to "every little girl who feels unseen and unheard."
"This is our way of saying, to you, we love you and we see you! And you deserve every good thing in this world!" Berry said, as she walked off to a standing ovation.
For more on Berry's relationship with Hunt, see the video below.