“The Power of the Dog” director Jane Campion’s popularity was short-lived after she made a bizarrely sexist and racist comment about Venus and Serena Williams during her acceptance speech Sunday at the Critics Choice Awards.
“Give my love out to my fellow, fellow, fellow, the guys, the nominees,” she said as she accepted the award for Best Director. “And Venus and Serena, you are such marvels. However, you do not play against the guys, like I have to.”
In the video shared on Twitter, Venus Williams can be seen smiling awkwardly as Campion gives her acceptance speech. (RELATED: Sam Elliott Says Liberal Hollywood’s Favorite New Western Is Stupid, Way Too Gay, And Frankly, Not Even A Western)
Jane Campion, daughter of famous New Zealand theatre director Richard Campion & actress Edith Campion MBE, explains the challenges of being a white woman from an established family to Venus and Serena Williams. https://t.co/7IhXlrNIBw
— Megha Mohan (@meghamohan) March 14, 2022
Campion laughed maniacally at what she presumed was a joke or statement she’d made, but was immediately hit with backlash online, according to IndieWire.
Many people from the press and social media noted how unnecessary it was for Campion to make any comment comparing herself to the experiences of the Williams sister, according to the Washington Post.
Campion is the daughter of a theatre director and an actress, according to Megha Mohan. The Williams sisters, two black women, have faced “unrelenting racism and sexism while working toward remarkable levels of success in tennis, a White-dominated sport,” The Washington Post reported.
“Anyone who knows anything about Venus and Serena’s careers wouldn’t think to utter something this stupid and insulting,” tweeted Chicago Sun-Times editor Gene Farris.
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. https://t.co/SljZ0smqR6
— Gene Farris (@gpfarris) March 14, 2022
While Campion may have felt like her weekend was off to a great start after receiving praise from the liberal media for her comments on Sam Elliott (who continues to garner more attention for his opinion of “The Power of the Dog” than the film itself), the director had to issue a statement following her bizarre remarks 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,” Campion wrote in a statement shared by IndieWire.
“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,” she wrote.