And now, Scary-Crayon presents...

How Halle Berry became Catwoman

by: Wes

Our story begins at the 75th Annual Academy Awards presentation, where Halle Berry was named "Best Actress" for her work in Monster's Ball. Except it doesn't really begin there. We'd all seen her before, stinking up the silver screen in such films as The Flintstones and even B.A.P.S., and we'd heard about that driving incident where she crashed into a bunch of shit including another motorist and just kept on going, because she's Halle Berry and why should she stop for some nameless, faceless woman whose wrist she just broke? How ironic that when she landed the Oscar in 2002, she tearfully hailed it as a landmark moment that opened a door for all of the "nameless, faceless women of color" and remarked that she was "honoured... to be the vessel from which this blessing might flow."

Halle Berry tearfully accepts an Oscar.

This proclamation of herself as the vessel was the first step in her transformation from mere actress to superheroine extraordinaire. In addition to this, in the course of her acceptance speech she named Oprah Winfrey as "the best role model any girl can have," which is just utter horseshit. Here at Scary-Crayon, we've discussed Oprah's egotistical and self-absorbed tyranny not one, not two, but three times, and given Halle Berry's apparent admiration of unsurpassed vanity and shameless in-your-face attention-grabbing ploys, perhaps it is unsurprising that she would later don the mask of the superheroine. Anyone who runs around fighting crime in stylish outfits doesn't exactly hate the spotlight.


Thus, with Halle Berry's soaring popularity and newfound critical acclaim, the Hollywood bigwigs stepped forward and threw money at her to star in major roles. And despite having become the vessel whose victories constituted such a triumph for the nameless, faceless women of color -- because hey, you didn't see her hailing it as a tragedy for those same women of color when she pleaded "no contest" to that misdemeanor charge -- she gladly took the money and accepted those roles. After all, as she once said herself, "There's art and there's commerce. You have to find a way to mesh the two. It's important to do the little movies just for the love of the art. But it's those big movies that take you around the world and make you globally famous."


Clearly, Ms. Berry was more interested in the commercial than the artistic when making the decisions to reprise her role as Storm in X2, the even worse sequel to the worthless first X-Men film, and to star in the "supernatural thriller" Gothika, a film that relies more on the catchy spelling (Gothika with a K!!!) and spooky allure of its title (which has no apparent meaning) to attract viewers than it does on making sense or actually being worth watching, because both films sucked donkey dick with the unbridled zeal of a starving prostitute in a hot, dusty shack down in old Mexico.

Halle Berry falls to her death.I suspect that the majority of readers will take that assessment of the latter film without argument, but will leap forward to defend X2. However, I also suspect that these are either rabid fanboys who would've praised a two-and-a-half hour movie devoted to Wolverine taking a massive shit as an amazingly realistic portrayal of the character (as opposed to an incredibly accurate screen translation of Chris Claremont's storylines) or are people who have never picked up an X-Men comic in their lives and so wouldn't have noticed that just about everything that made the characters interesting had been cut away, effectively reducing them to circus performers who run on screen, display their mutant powers to the delight of the special effects crowd, and just as soon make their exit -- without the complicated history between, say, Wolverine and Lady Deathstrike looming in the background, their battle becomes a meaningless claw-vs-claw geek show. And that "deep" dialogue between Berry's Storm and Alan Cumming's Nightcrawler concerning the value of faith was some of the most trite shit I've ever heard, and this is from a movie in which the son of Satan himself tries to assassinate the President.

Suffice it to say that while these films may have helped to "take [her] around the world and make [her] globally famous," for an Oscar-winning actress to star in such meritless tripe is tantamount to committing integrity-suicide, if not seriously damaging her career and reputation as an actually halfway decent actress who happened to be in the right place at the right time when the Academy wanted to bolster its credibility by awarding its highest honors to two "colored" actors. So it was that for the love of fame and money Halle Berry threw her spirit through the plate-glass window of a metaphoric high-rise building, plummeting through these pitiful roles and a number of sexy photo shoots before landing hard on the pavement below. And unlike Michelle Pfeiffer's similar "accident" in a much better story, Halle Berry's fall from grace had no connection whatsoever to Christopher Walken.

Halle Berry sprawled in blood.Revived by the power of the cat!

But though she lay sprawled in a pool of blood on the cracked concrete, it was not yet time for Berry to be buried! For as the vessel, she through whom the blessings of faceless, nameless women of color flow, her story could not end thusly. No, it was here, shamed and disgraced, that a cat -- and a black cat, at that! -- crept out from behind a dumpster and breathed life into her still-twitching corpse! After all, who better to receive the mystical power of the cat than the vessel? Now, in addition to <bitch>Oprah Winfrey</bitch>, those nameless, faceless women of color could have a legitimate superheroine to look up to! And I'm sure Halle Berry thought of herself as preserving Eartha Kitt's legacy or some shit like that. So it was that, reanimated by the power of the cat, Halle Berry became...



Yes, Catwoman -- the scantily-clad leather-bound jewel thief heroine who supposedly represents the uninhibited and empowered woman yet still deems it necessary to show as much skin as possible and brandish the dominatrix's tool of choice, which, despite the supposed dominance it implies, still marks her (alongside her outfit) as a slave to sexual fetishes and fantasies which for the most part are probably more appealing to antisocial male computer nerds than respectable career women who are out to buck gender stereotypes and make names for themselves. MEE-OWR!

Let's see what happens when our feline vessel goes out on the town, shall we?

KIDS. :)

Here, we have two children delighting in the joys of youth -- among which are comic books and sandboxes -- unaware that they are about to receive a surprise visitor. After all, with its PG-13 rating and music-video production values, Catwoman is, after all, largely aimed at a younger audience, though slightly older than the children in the above picture. Still, hopefully, those children are unaware of the pigeonholing that occurs later in life, where people are expected to behave in certain ways because of their skin color, gender, etc. -- for the moment, they are individuals enjoying their comics, and it doesn't matter a whit that this little boy with the beanie (ah, classic symbol of youth!) and his female companion are reading about superheroes who do not share their gender. This happy girl hasn't begun to be teased for her supposed tomboyishness yet, and nobody's kicking beanie boy in the ribs and calling him a sissy.

''Holy crap! It's HALLE BERRY as CATWOMAN!!!''

But lo! Enter Halle Berry as Catwoman! Suddenly things are in disarray! Where before children were just content to be themselves and respected others on an individual level, suddenly Ms. Berry (among others) demand that they be recognized not as actors and actresses -- or even great actors and actresses -- but as black actors and actresses, and take pains to emphasize the color of their skin at every opportunity by taking on stereotypical roles and personas (cf. Will Smith in every movie he's been in with the possible exception of Six Degrees of Separation) and heralding every accolade they earn as not just an achievement for them, but for the entire black "race" all the way back to the blinged-out African kings of old. Oho, perhaps that is the real reason Catwoman's costume is so revealing? Halle Berry wants to make damned sure you can see her skin. She is, after all, the vessel.

She shat in their sandbox.

And there we have the result. By constantly attempting to capitalize off of the color of her skin and by throwing her name into everything no matter how crappy in attempts to spread her fame and make lots of money, Halle Berry is effectively shitting in the sandboxes of children everywhere, not to mention those who look fondly upon certain attitudes of youth and wonder with dismay why growing up entails that people become such crude conformist cookie-cutter bastards. Not only does this kind of crap hurt the kids -- remember the words of Michael Jackson: "...the children are our sex partners future" -- but it even manages to disgust the sun, which is why someday it will get fed up with humanity and heat the earth until every living thing is dead and cooked, cajun style. Halle Berry will get her wish, for when the alien researchers land on our planet and examine the charred remains, they will, indeed, record that she is black.

Catwoman: Just say NO.Next time... stay dead.

In short, Catwoman is awful, and Halle Berry is not so much a vessel of blessings as she is of stereotyping and discrimination -- it's worth noting that even in sharing her moment at the Oscars with a number of faceless, nameless people, she still singles them out with respect to their sex and the color of their skin. If only Halle Berry had been selfish with her Academy Award win and had gone on to star in lesser-known independent films in order to further her creds as a legitimate actor instead of turning to popular dreck! If only she had used that win to promote herself as an individual and had balked at being recognized as "the first African-American actress to win an Oscar" instead of "Halle Berry, Best Actress"! If only she'd had the good sense to take on non-stereotypical roles of legitimate depth instead of starring in films with titles like the announced Nappily Ever After! If only that damned zombie-making cat last seen twelve years ago had stayed in obscurity, content to rest on its laurels in Batman Returns! Ah... the road not taken.

-- Wes --

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