Jane Campion's latest win for The Power of the Dog, at Sunday night's 2022 Critics Choice Awards, came tinged with cringe, thanks to a comment she made from the podium to Venus and Serena Williams.
In picking up her latest trophy for the drama, as the only nominated female director going into awards season, Campion mentioned the sisters, who were in attendance supporting the award-winning movie about their lives, King Richard.
"Venus and Serena, you're such marvels," Campion said, "However, you don't play against the guys, like I have to."
Social media users flamed the filmmaker for the implication that the tennis greats couldn't hack it on the court against male competitors. The comments came fast and furious, stress on "furious."
"Woman History month and you go and f*** over 2 of the greatest female athletes of the modern age WTF," one Instagram user vented on an Instagram page that apparently isn't even Campion's.
"Check your white woman privilege at the door next time," said another, in part.
"PUT SOME RESPECT ON BLACK WOMEN..." said yet another on The Power of the Dog's Instagram page.
Campion soon apologized for the comment, saying in a statement quoted by Variety. "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 director added, "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 concluded, "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."