“Power of the Dog” director Jane Campion called “1883” star Sam Elliott a “B-I-T-C-H” for jeering at her film, then managed to tear down tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams while accepting an award.
Campion, 67, stuck her foot in her mouth while accepting the Best Director at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards. After thanking the fellow nominees in the category, who were all men, she called out the Williams’ sisters, who were in attendance as guests of Will Smith.
“And Serena and Venus, you are such marvels, however, you do not play against the guys like I have to,” Campion remarked on Sunday. “I’m like a grandmother of the women’s movement in film now. But I’m still here.”
Actress Jodie Turner-Smith called out the director for the disparaging comment. “Jane taking time out of her best director speech to tell two Black women that she is more oppressed than them is PEAK white feminism,” she tweeted.
Ironically, Campion’s remarks come on the heels of calling Elliott “sexist” a day before on the red carpet of the DGA Awards.
“I’m sorry, he was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H. He’s not a cowboy; he’s an actor,” Campion said about the actor. “The West is a mythic space and there’s a lot of room on the range. I think it’s a little bit sexist.”
Elliott had criticized Campion’s Western as “a piece of s–t” with “all these allusions to homosexuality,” and took issue that it was not filmed in the United States.
“And why the f— did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say ‘this is the way it was?’ That f—ing rubbed me the wrong way, pal,” he said during a podcast.
Campion, a native New Zealander, issued an apology to the Williams’ sisters on Monday.
“I made a thoughtless comment equating what I do in the film world with all that Serena Williams and Venus Williams have achieved,” Campion backtracked. “I did not intend to devalue these two legendary Black women and world class athletes.”
“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,” she continued. “Their accomplishments are titanic and inspiring. Serena and Venus, I apologize and completely celebrate you.”