Sharon Stone Explains Why She Calls Her Fame 'Barney the Purple Elephant': 'It Can Be Embarrassing'

The actress reflected on her meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s and 1990s in her Icon Award speech at the Hollywood Unlocked Impact Awards on Friday, June 21

<p>Marleen Moise/WireImage</p> Sharon Stone

Marleen Moise/WireImage

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone has an unexpected label for her fame.

At the Hollywood Unlocked Impact Awards on Friday, June 21, the Casino actress, 66, accepted the Icon Award, celebrating her decades-long career in the entertainment industry and beyond. She spoke about how quickly she rose to fame, and why she calls her celebrity "Barney."

The event, which took place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, honored influencers, celebrities and icons who have made a lasting impact on the culture.

Stone reflected on her meteoric rise in Hollywood in the 1980s and 1990s in her acceptance speech. "I became so famous so fast, and I became so famous in a way that people wanted to diminish me for my accomplishment," she recalled.

The Basic Instinct star said that people didn't want to recognize her talent "because I was a woman."

Related: Sharon Stone Reveals Son Roan, 23, Is Moving into Acting: 'Welcome to the Family Biz, Kid'

"They didn't want to give it to me because I was a woman who took a position of power, and then I decided to use fame in a way that I felt had meaning and value," she continued. "And I feel that if you don't use your fame in an effort to help change the world into a better place, that it's a wasted thing."

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<p>Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty </p> Sharon Stone attends the Hollywood Unlocked Impact Awards on June 21, 2024

Michael Buckner/Variety via Getty

Sharon Stone attends the Hollywood Unlocked Impact Awards on June 21, 2024

Stone then pivoted to the surprising name she calls her fame.

"I call my fame Barney, the purple elephant, and that sometimes I don't want to go out because I have to take Barney with me, and it can be embarrassing for other people and uncomfortable for me, and make it hard for me to have normal relationships with people in the world," she explained.

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The Total Recall actress then concluded her speech by expressing her appreciation to those in the audience, who included the evening's host, Tiffany Haddish, as well as Cardi B and Raven-Symoné.

Related: Sharon Stone and Austin Butler Explain Their 'Special Connection': 'I Really Believe in Him'

"I just want to say thank you to you, because so many of you in this room have allowed me to feel safe and normal and loved and that I have a place to be," Stone said, noting that the connection is due to everyone walking "in the same zone."

"When you're a woman or person of color or a person who's LGBTQ, or anybody other than a White man," Stone said, "sometimes [it] makes you feel like you're less or smaller, when in fact you are the majority."

Related: Sharon Stone Says She's 'Grateful' She Didn't 'Prioritize Hollywood' Over Motherhood (Exclusive)

Stone has been open about feeling undervalued in the past. She previously told PEOPLE in April 2023 that rejection for certain roles because of her appearance and living up to certain beauty standards has at times affected her mental health.

"That perpetual feeling of rejection that society gives us with the way that women are treated: that there's only really room for one," she explained at the time.

Being told you're not good enough for certain roles because of looks "isolates women one from the other and keeps us from knowing each other, acknowledging each other, being friends with each other," she added.

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