Don’t mess with their Daddy! Venus and Serena Williams have withdrawn their support for a documentary about their careers over serious issues with the way their father Richard is portrayed on screen.
According to L.A. Times reports:
In an about-face, Venus and Serena Williams chose not to attend last Tuesday’s Toronto world premiere of the documentary “Venus and Serena,” which they authorized and participated in for the past 20 months, because they are reportedly unhappy with the finished product.
As recently as several days before, the tennis superstars had planned to come to the Toronto International Film Festival to support the movie made by veteran broadcast journalists Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, according to a person familiar with the Williamses’ plans who asked not to be identified because the person had not been authorized to speak on their behalf.
But a disagreement between the sisters and the filmmakers over the movie’s content — particularly the portrayal of the sisters’ father, Richard Williams — has led to a reversal, the person said. The movie is at Toronto seeking distribution.
Venus Williams’ manager Carlos Fleming and Serena Williams’ agent Jill Smoller would not comment on their clients’ decision.
The movie has been a watershed event for the Williamses, who are famously guarded about their private lives. Baird and Major, who met while working for ABC News during Peter Jennings’ tenure, have long been fascinated by the Williamses as tennis and public personalities.
After being wooed by the Baird and Major for nearly four years, the sisters agreed to participate in the documentary. In January 2011, the filmmakers began following the sisters around the world, having been granted intimate access to the cloistered stars as well as to their friends and family members; they shot more than 450 hours of footage. Major said that neither sister asked for any preconditions before filming began.
The finished film looks at the rise of the two Compton natives to the pinnacle of their sport, their lives behind-the-scenes and the colorful personalities who have guided them or been part of their rise. It is largely complimentary to the sisters, showing their work ethic and their humor.
But it does explore some of Richard Williams’ foibles, from his out-of-wedlock children to a 78-page manifesto he had plotting out his daughters’ success at a very young age. That angered the sisters, particularly Venus, according to the person with knowledge of the disagreement.
After viewing the film in August, Venus Williams had an extensive conversation with filmmakers raising her objections over how her father was portrayed. Though some small tweaks were made, they were not sufficient to change her mind.
The filmmakers said they were saddened by the Williamses’ response and could only hope for a change of heart down the road. “We think this is an important story, and we can only hope Venus and Serena come to see it that way too,” Baird said.
Seems kind of sad that the moment was ruined, but stuff like this happens all the time with documentaries. Remember how Q-Tip started hating on the ATCQ doc?
Hopefully the sisters can come to terms with having the public see their situation for what it is without feeling any kinda way about it, cuz after all what’s done is done and it’s better for them to get the accolades they deserve than have to worry about defending their pops for being who he is.
You can check a review of the movie HERE