Campion was accepting the best director prize for “Power Of The Dog” when she told the audience she was honored to be in a room with so many great women, making a point to single out the Wiliams sisters, who were there in support of the film “King Richard.”
However, Campion seemed to serve up the compliments with a side of shade.
“Venus and Serena, you’re such marvels,” she said. “However, you don’t play against the guys, like I have to.”
Campion may have thought she was making a light-hearted joke, but many people on social media had a different take.
Some felt the director’s statement minimized the life experiences of the Williams sisters, who have faced both sexism and racism as Black women in the public eye.
On Monday, Campion issued an apology to both women:
“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.
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’s apology comes just days after she went viral for calling out actor Sam Elliott for “being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H” after he criticized “Power Of The Dog” for not being filmed in the American West and for its “allusions to homosexuality.”
You can watch Campion’s Critics Choice Awards acceptance speech below.