“Power of the Dog” Director Jane Campion Apologizes for ‘Thoughtless’ Comment About Serena and Venus Williams During Critics Choice Awards Speech


Jane Campion is apologizing for a controversial comment she made about Serena and Venus Williams while accepting the best director prize at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards. The filmmaker said in a statement, “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.”

Campion continued, “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.”

While accepting the Critics Choice Award for best director, Campion said she was honored to be in the room with so many great women and singled out tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams. The sisters were in attendance at the ceremony in support of the film “King Richard,” which won Will Smith the prize for best actor for his portrayal of their father, Richard Williams.

Campion took a moment during her speech to salute her “fellow, fellow, fellow” nominees, or “the guys,” as she called them. Campion was the only female nominee in the best director category, which also included Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), Guillermo del Toro (“Nightmare Alley”), Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) and Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”).

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SOURCE: Variety, Zack Sharf