Will Smith will play Serena Williams' father Richard in a new movie and people are upset
6 March 2019, 17:42 | Updated: 7 March 2019, 11:14
Well at least he won't be blue for this movie...
Will Smith will reportedly play Serena and Venus Williams' father Richard Williams in a new biopic about his life. The legendary sisters have won 14 Grand Slam doubles championships together and three Olympic gold medals all under the guidance of their father, while growing up in Compton, California. However, the casting has sparked a huge debate about colourism.
The movie, based on a script by Zach Baylin, will follow the real life story of how Serena and Venus rose to become the greatest female tennis players in history after receiving coaching from their father, who trained them despite having no tennis background and a troubled past.
According to Deadline, the "Aladdin" actor is taking on the momentous role after reportedly deciding not to star in DC's Suicide Squad 2. However, people had a problem with Will playing someone who is much darker than he is.
Colorism matters..love will Smith but there are other black actors for this role https://t.co/qrV1QuBiJH— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) March 5, 2019
?? was mahershala not available or any other darker skinned male actor ever?? https://t.co/tBNwgxl8hj— e (@futiledevicesx) March 5, 2019
Why is he always cast in roles portraying dark skin men like there aren’t tons of black actors that would make more sense for the role? https://t.co/1VcZyCmwTK— Pikliz Papi (@so_rudez) March 5, 2019
im getting real tired of seeing dark skinned people/characters played by light skinned ones https://t.co/lKIIMTOpXC— tina 🧚🏽♀️ (@mintchocolatina) March 5, 2019
Scarlett Johansson might as well play Venus with this kind of mess casting https://t.co/GmDItxrjJm— Candis R McLean (@CandisRMcLean) March 5, 2019
Obviously nothing against Will Smith, but why is he playing Venus and Serena's Father?? Yes, the man can act but for the love of God there are dark-skinned Black men that can act too.— Neysha 🔜 #SXSW (@La_Ney_sha) March 5, 2019
They can get one these men to do it or maybe even give an unknown actor a shot. pic.twitter.com/CTdxVTMT2v
Find dark skin people to play dark skin people!!!!— afrogyal (@queenafroNAM) March 5, 2019
However, others thought the idea that only light-skinned actors should play light-skinned characters was ridiculous.
Some of you are BEYOND ignorant. Will Smith is a phenomenal actor and I believe he will do a great job portraying Richard Williams. Have you forgotten that Will also portrayed Chris Gardener in the Pursuit of Happyness? Stop it with the colorism and ignorance. pic.twitter.com/f3qV3NXMEX— S. Marlene Wimberly (@2BGMEDIA) March 5, 2019
Twitter is reducing Serena and Venus father's entire "role" to the shade of his blackness. It's an absolute disgusting display of a lack of understanding of colorism. Will Smith doesn't/wouldn't pass.— Alice Johnson Winning (@PWRHSEPAT) March 6, 2019
Man, you are reaching way too damn much. But it wasn’t an issue when Denzel Washington played Malcom X despite being considerably darker?— Carl (@MajinCarl) March 5, 2019
Dude, just chill. Damn.
Ha! So even black people face criticism for whitewashing if they arent black enough. Whitewashing is an issue sure but now people need to be the exact, precise shade of black/skin colour?— Simmonds91 (@Simmonds91R) March 5, 2019
You’re kidding, right? This is a streeeeeeeeeeeeeetch.— Alex Rivero (@thealexrivero) March 5, 2019
To avoid any further outrage, why not have Richard Williams enroll in fast track acting college and then he could play himself! Or would that offend all the actors who’ve been actors for longer than him 🤪 the world’s gone stark raving mad.— Lorenzo (@petrolhead63) March 5, 2019