Jane Campion is walking back on her Critics’ Choice Awards speech.
The “Power of the Dog” director won the 2022 Critics’ Choice Award for Best Director on March 13 but her speech has drawn criticism.
“Venus and Serena [Williams], you’re such marvels,” Campion said. “However, you don’t play against the guys, like I have to.”
The director was up against male directors Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”), Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”), Guillermo del Toro (“Nightmare Alley”), Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”) and Denis Villeneuve (“Dune”) for the award.
The 67-year-old director issued an apology in a statement on March 14.
“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,” she said, via Variety.
She 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.”
The two tennis stars, who were in attendance at the time for “King Richard”, have yet to comment on the situation.