Director Jane Campion, favorite in the race for the Oscars, apologized to tennis champions Serena and Venus Williams on Monday for “reckless” remarks she made the day before at an awards ceremony. The New Zealand filmmaker caused a scandal after receiving the Best Director trophy awarded in Los Angeles by film critics for her film The Power of the Dog. On the stage Sunday evening, Jane Campion began by celebrating all the talents women gathered in the room, citing in particular the Williams sisters, who were present alongside Will Smith, star of the biopic devoted to the champions The Williams Method. She then launched: “Serena and Venus, you are such wonders … But you do not have, like me, to play against the boys.” This unexpected comment unleashed a rain of outraged reactions, denouncing remarks often judged as sexist and racist. Excerpts of the incident, where we can see the disillusioned air of Venus Williams, made the rounds of social networks. Monday, Jane Campion hastened to apologize. “I made a thoughtless comment comparing what I do in the film world to all that Serena Williams and Venus Williams have accomplished,” she wrote in a statement quoted by US media. ‘intention to devalue these two legendary black women and world-class athletes,’ continues the director, noting in passing that they have played matches against men during their careers. The two champions have both won Grand Slams in mixed doubles.”The last thing I would want would be to diminish the merit of these remarkable women […]. Serena and Venus, I beg your pardon and I totally celebrate you”, concludes the filmmaker. and awards from the association of American directors, the Directors Guild Awards. The Power of the Dog and its director are among the big favorites for the Oscars, the supreme awards of American cinema, which will be presented in Hollywood on March 27.
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