Jane Campion Tried To Climb On The Backs Of Venus and Serena Williams But Fell On Her Face

Rosalyn Morris
4 min readMar 14, 2022
Jane Campion via Wikimedia Commons

Another day, another microaggression. And make no mistake about it, that’s what Jane Campion’s comment directed towards Venus and Serena Williams was. Campion wanted to put Venus and Serena in their place — beneath her. Why, I don’t know? The sisters were in unfamiliar territory at the 2022 Critics’ Choice Awards, looking regal and beautiful, to honor their father and the movie about him, King Richard. Maybe she wanted to let them know it was her court?

What she did, I do believe, was unconscious, or maybe second nature, on her part. When she inevitably says she doesn’t feel she did anything wrong, she will mean it. Because that’s how these things work.

Like many white people, she saw two Black women, and couldn’t help herself. She objectified them, seeing them tangentially to herself. They were there for their own reasons, that quite frankly, had nothing to do with her. She used them as props, and as a way to prop herself up. She compared them to herself, making the conclusion that they weren’t as great as her, or hadn’t pulled off as great a feat as she, defeating the patriarchy. This makes no sense, as they are not in the same field, and the misogyny that Campion has faced does not compare to the misogynoir the Williams sister have faced.

Jane Campion is a movie director, producer, and screenwriter. While she certainly isn’t to film what Venus and Serena are to sports and tennis, she’s good, no great, at what she does. I have no problem giving her her props; something she couldn’t do with Venus and Serena. While I’m not familiar with most of her work, The Piano is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. But that wasn’t enough for her. Riding high on her best director win, and the favor she’d gained from her clapback against misogynistic remarks from actor, Sam Elliot, the night had to be all about her.

Jane Campion is the daughter of an heiress and both her parents were in the entertainment business. While I can’t say her career came easily to her, she obviously had the connections, and the financial freedom, to pursue her passion. She also had the means for the training to be great at it. Richard Williams once worked as a sharecropper, taught himself how to play tennis so he could teach his…