After controversial comments she made during a Critics Choice Awards acceptance speech on Sunday toward tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, film director Jane Campion issued an apology Monday.
What’s going on: Jane Campion, who won best director Sunday for her film “The Power of the Dog,” apologized to the Williams sisters for saying, “Serena and Venus, you are such marvels. However, you do not play against the guys.”
- Campion laughed, but the camera panned to Venus Williams (the Williams sisters were at the ceremony in support of “King Richard,” a biopic about them and their father Richard starring Will Smith, who won best actor), who gave a clear look of disapproval.
- On Monday, Campion, who is white, released a statement to Entertainment Weekly, which read as follows:
“I made a thoughtless comment equating what I do in the film world with all that Serena Williams and Venus Williams have achieved. I did not intend to devalue these two legendary Black women and world-class athletes.
“The fact is the Williams sisters have, actually, squared off against men on the court (and off), and they have both raised the bar and opened doors for what is possible for women in this world. The last thing I would ever want to do is minimize remarkable women. I love Serena and Venus. Their accomplishments are titanic and inspiring. Serena and Venus, I apologize and completely celebrate you.”
Jane Campion speech backlash: Campion was widely criticized for her comments prior to issuing her apology.
Here’s a sampling:
That clip of Jane Campion should be used in anti-racism spaces as an example of what daily racism looks like.— Shay Stewart Bouley (@blackgirlinmain) March 14, 2022
Still wrapping my brain around Jane Campion’s comment last night. What a spectacular viral rise and fall in just 24 hours.— N O S ⋊ Ɔ I ᴚ ᴚ Ǝ ᗡ ⊥ ⊥ O Ɔ S (@scottderrickson) March 14, 2022
White women centring themselves over Black women is so normalised— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) March 14, 2022
Jane Campion served Serena and Venus a backhand with her full chest
This was so unnecessary,petty &ugly. She couldn’t achieve what they have with barriers faced in White Male dominated tennis sport #CriticsChoice https://t.co/FnpFU3TO0Q