Sexist Claims Over 'King Richard' Surface Despite Venus and Serena Williams serving as Executive Producers

Some critics are calling out Will Smith's latest film 'King Richard' for being sexist, even though Venus and Serena Williams are both executive producers.

Will Smith, Venus Williams, Serena Williams on red carpet

Photo by LISA O'CONNOR/AFP via Getty Images

Will Smith, Venus Williams, Serena Williams on red carpet

Critics are praising King Richard, the Will Smith-powered biopic about Venus and Serena William’s father – still, some are calling the film sexist, even though the tennis stars serve as executive producers.

A Twitter user sparked outrage this weekend after questioning why a Williams sisters biopic is named after and centers around their father, Richard Williams.

“Did they seriously make a film called ‘King Richard’ about the success of Serena and Venus Williams –– but it’s about their dad, Richard?” the Twitter user, Dr. Jessica Taylor, wrote. 

The “they” she is referring to is, in fact Serena and Venus.

Taylor added, “I get this has annoyed people but I genuinely didn’t expect a film about two of the most powerful, successful and amazing black female athletes to be named after a man, or center a man. I would have loved this film to be all about them, and not a man. That’s it really.”  

It didn’t take long for people to chime in, as many were quick to point out that Venus and Serena both serve as executive producers on the film.

“The interesting thing about the critique of ‘King Richard’ centering the father is not just that Venus and Serena executive produced it, but they refused to attach their names UNLESS it aligned with their vision,” one Twitter user responded, posting an interview with Will Smith in which he talks about the Williams sisters’ participation in the film. 

King Richard stars Smith, Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton, Tony Goldwyn, and Jon Bernthal. You can stream the Warner Bros. film now on HBO Max.


Latest in Pop Culture