UPDATE: Campion has now issued an apology to the Williams sisters —
“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.”
Previously reported earlier on Monday:
The 2022 Critics Choice Awards is currently the talk of the internet, but it isn’t the big wins of Hollywood’s favorite actors at last night’s event that is taking social media by storm.
During the award show, director Jane Campion made some pretty….interesting comments about tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams during her acceptance speech for The Power of the Dog.
While accepting her award, the director, for some reason, seemingly called out the famous sisters for not competing against men like she does.
Campion’s latest comments and the Williams sisters’ live reactions have become a hot topic online, with many slamming the director for “insulting” the tennis legends.
Jane Campion’s speech is gaining a lot of attention online
While accepting the award for Best Director during Sunday night’s event, Campion’s speech went from innocent to controversial in a matter of seconds.
She began her speech by thanking her presenter, Taika Waititi and the Critics Choice Association for the honor.
Campion praised the evening’s SeeHer Award winner Halle Berry before turning her attention over to Venus and Serena Williams.
“Serena and Venus, you are such marvels,” Campion said. “However, you do not play against the guys, like I have to.”
The camera quickly panned over to Venus Williams, who initially didn’t react to Campion’s comment. Serena then showed up on the screen as she applauded along with the rest of the room.
Watch the speech below:
Many are criticizing Jane Campion’s speech on Twitter
Not long after Jane Campion seemingly put Venus and Serena Williams on blast, thousands of people took to social media to comment on the director’s speech.
While many felt that her comment about the famous sisters was unnecessary, others accused Campion of being inappropriate and racist.
“The arrogance and ignorance of Jane Campion. Anyone who knows anything about Venus and Serena’s careers wouldn’t think to utter something this stupid and insulting,” sports writer Gene Farris shared, according to Newsweek.
Check out more reactions below:
“Venus and Serena you are marvels. However, you don’t play against the guys like I have to” Jane Campion
She said this after saying she had taken up tennis and they could come by and give her lessons.
— Sasha🇺🇦 (@SashaBeauIoux) March 14, 2022
Jane Campion, how exactly does diminishing and stomping all over the constant misogynoir Venus and Serena face help you, a white woman, climb the ladder…how ugly and privileged of you.
I need some people to enjoy the sound of their own voices a little bit less. pic.twitter.com/5LUW1vwZXR
— Cai (@CaelliJohnson) March 14, 2022
Jane Campion needs to watch King Richard tonight on HBOMax. She pretty much said to Serena and Venus that she had harder in the film industry because she’s competing with men. I don’t think Jane ever deal with racism like those two sisters experienced during their teen years. pic.twitter.com/NU8BXd51Xh
— Dk (@dkfanfilms) March 14, 2022
As of this writing, neither Jane Campion nor Venus and Serena Williams have commented on the situation.