Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Director Jane Campion Apologizes to Venus and Serena Williams for ‘Thoughtless Comment’

Jane Campion Apologizes
Jane Campion at the 27th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards on March 13, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for FIJI Water)

*Director Jane Campion has apologized to Venus and Serena Williams amid backlash to comments she made about the sisters at the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday.

Campion won the award for Best Director for her film “The Power of the Dog,” and during her acceptance speech she said the Williams sisters “don’t play against the guys, like I have to.”

“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,” Campion continued. “I love Serena and Venus. Their accomplishments are titanic and inspiring. Serena and Venus, I apologize and completely celebrate you.”

Watch the moment via the Twitter clip below.

READ MORE: Dir. Jane Campion Under Fire for Crazy Azz Venus and Serena Williams Comment | WATCH

The Williams sisters executive produced the “King Richard” biopic about their father Richard Williams, who is portrayed by Will Smith in the film. During the Critics Choice Awards, Smith won the Best Actor trophy. Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” also won Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. 

Campion and Venus were spotted dancing and embracing after the show amid online backlash to the director’s comments about the tennis champions. 

The acclaimed foreign-born director responded to the criticism in a statement, as reported by Deadline

Campion’s apology reads, “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.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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