Director Jane Campion apologizes to tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams: NPR

Director and screenwriter Jane Campion attends the screening and speaks for Netflix The power of the dog at the BFI Southbank on March 1 in London, England.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images


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Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images


Director and screenwriter Jane Campion attends the screening and speaks for Netflix The power of the dog at the BFI Southbank on March 1 in London, England.

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Director Jane Campion apologized to tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams for her “rash” remarks about the couple during an acceptance speech at the Critics’ Choice Awards on Sunday night.

Campion, a white woman from New Zealand, received the best director award for her film The power of the dog when she made comments.

In her speech, Campion – the only woman nominated in the category – hailed the Williams sisters as “wonders” in their craft, but hinted that the two black women hadn’t faced the same battles when it came to careers. gender equality than women in film.

“Serena and Venus, you are wonders. However, you don’t play guys like I have to,” Campion said with a laugh.

Her remarks drew a swift reaction on social media, where commenters pointed to the years of racism and sexism the Williams sisters have faced during their careers.

Others noted a degree of deafness – the idea that a white woman from a socially privileged background had somehow had a harder path to success than the two powerhouses of black tennis – which some described as perfectly emblematic of white feminism.

“I made a thoughtless comment equating what I do in the film world with all that Serena Williams and Venus Williams have accomplished. I had no intention of devaluing these two legendary black women and classy athletes world,” Campion said in a statement Monday. according to the media. “The thing is, the Williams sisters have, in fact, faced men on the court (and off it), and they’ve both raised the bar and opened doors to what’s possible for women in this world. The last thing I would ever want to do is belittle remarkable women.”

Campion’s film, The Power of the Dog, received critical acclaim. The film is an examination of queer people in the American West and sparked conversations about the history of gay cowboys and toxic masculinity.

The film had 10 nominations at Sunday night’s awards show, winning four, including Campion’s Best Director trophy.

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