Jane Campion‘s “Power of the Dog” has garnered critical acclaim since its release on the big screen. The stellar performance displayed by its cast and crew earned the psychological thriller several award nominations, including Campion’s recent win for best director at the Critics’ Choice Award.
While giving her acceptance speech at the ceremony, Campion’s remarks seemed to ruffle more than a few feathers when she compared her win with Serena and Venus Williams’ success on the tennis court.
Since the event, Campion has received intense backlash on social media. Now, the award-winning director is apologizing to the sisters, saying she made a “thoughtless comment” and was not trying to undermine their sports achievements.
Jane Campion Released An Apology Statement
The highlight of Campion’s controversial speech at the Critics’ Choice Award was her comparison between her win and the Williams sister’s tennis achievements.
“Venus and Serena, you’re such marvels,” she said in part. “However, you don’t play against the guys like I have to.”
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) March 14, 2022
Although Campion’s statement held some truth, given that the film industry has had a history of sexism, it appeared to write off the sisters’ achievements. Several comments in the media pointed out that even though the sisters were restricted to mostly playing against men, they remain one of the most successful sportspersons of all time.
Following the media firestorm caused by her comments, Campion released a statement in a bid to calm frayed nerves.
“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.”
Campion 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. 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.”
Jane Campion Called Sam Elliot A B–ch
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Campion’s apology comes just days after clapping back at actor Sam Elliott by calling him a “little bit of a b–ch.” The actor had earlier critiqued “Power Of The Dog” for not being shot in the American West and slammed its “allusions to homosexuality.”
He was “being a little bit of a b–ch,” Campion said. As for where “The Power of the Dog” was filmed, the “West is a mythic space, and there’s a lot of room on the range. … I think it’s a little bit sexist.”
According to Campion, the decision to shoot the movie in New Zealand, her hometown, rather than conventional west regions, was a personal decision and due to a need to cut down the budget for the film.
Fans Compared Jane Campion’s Controversial Speeches
On Twitter, fans compared Campion’s comment at the award ceremony and her remarks against Sam Elliot.
One fan said, “Jane Campion got some press for saying some shit to a dude at an event, which we all loved! But then – at the same event – had something to say to some Black women, which we did NOT love.”
Another fan commented, “The nerve of Jane Campion to suggest her journey is harder than that of two Black women who’ve overcome racism, sexism, and classism in one of the whitest richest sports in the world to become CHAMPIONS, again and again, is why I have trust issues with white feminists.”
Jane Campion, how exactly does diminishing and stomping all over the constant misogynoir Venus and Serena face help you, a white woman, climb the ladder…how ugly and privileged of you.
I need some people to enjoy the sound of their own voices a little bit less. pic.twitter.com/5LUW1vwZXR
— The Govt Can Legally Be Overthrown (@CaelliJohnson) March 14, 2022
Although Campion’s apology might reduce the intensity of the backlash, it has nevertheless tainted her recent award win in the eyes of the public.
Jane Campion Would Likely Win An Oscar
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After winning director awards at the Critics’ Choice Awards, Campion is considered a frontrunner for the Academy Award, Golden Globes, Directors Guild of America Awards, and BAFTA Film Awards. Additionally, “Power of the Dog” landed 12 nominations, making it the top film to sweep home more awards.
For the Best Leading Actor category, Javier Bardem, Andrew Garfield, and Will Smith are the top dogs contending for the price. At the same time, Olivia Colman, Penélope Cruz, and Kristen Stewart were nominated for Best Leading Actress.
The Oscar winners will be announced on March 27, when the award ceremony takes place at the Hollywood & Highland Centre.