Director Jane Campion who recently won the Critics Choice Award for her film The Power of the Dog, has apologised for her remark about tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. According to reports, while accepting the Best Director's award at the ceremony, Jane compared her professional journey to that of the Williams sisters.
The statement received backlash from fans and the Twitterverse. Many saw the viral moment as a microcosm of white feminism. Author Hannah Drake tweeted, "Serena and Venus didn't have to be mentioned. Period." Meanwhile, "Jane Campion, like way too many white women, went a step too far, with a smile on her face, and absolutely no self-awareness," tweeted #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign.
For the unversed, Jane had said it was "an honor to be in the room with" the Williams sisters, before adding, "And you know, Serena and Venus, you are such marvels. However, you do not play against the guys like I have to."
Following the backlash, Jane in a statement to Los Angeles Times apologised for her remark. She said that she made a thoughtless comment equating what she does 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," added the director.
Notably, the superstar athletes and executive producers of King Richard received a standing ovation while introducing their film about the Williams family, which was nominated in four categories at the Critics Choice Awards 2022.
"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," Campion added in her apology.