In life, you just can’t please everyone.
Unfortunately for filmmakers Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, the displeasure comes from the people at the forefront of their new documentary. Venus and Serena Williams have pulled all support of Venus and Serena, a documentary based on their lives, allegedly because of the negative light placed on their father, Richard Williams. The movie premiered on Tuesday at the Toronto Film Festival and the sisters were a no show.
The Williamses granted access to the filmmakers January 2011 after being “wooed” and convinced that it would be a good idea. If there’s one thing most people notice about Venus and Serena is that they’re very private and you only see and know what they want you to see and know. Apparently, they were fine with all of the filming and the direction the documentary had taken until they saw the final version. According to an unidentified source who spoke with the L.A. Times, Venus was particularly upset and had a very long conversation with Baird and Major about changes that needed to be made when it came to the portrayal of their father. They made minor adjustments but it clearly wasn’t enough to their liking so they severed ties.
According to the report, Richard Williams came across in the film as controlling, especially when it came to his daughters’ tennis careers and that included a 78 page outline of how he would guide their success right to the top of standings. It further mentions his indiscretions and children that he had out of wedlock. Perhaps in their minds, the film would only focus on the sisters. Perhaps they forgot that their parents are a very big part of their success, especially their father who has always been considered controlling on some levels.
It is unfortunate that the Williamses decided not to support the documentary because based on all the reviews, it is a very complimentary piece and serves to inspire women to work hard to try to achieve such high levels of success. The filmmakers said they were disappointed but hope that Venus and Serena will one day change their minds and support it.
What do you think? Should Venus and Serena just “get over it” and support the film especially since most people already thought their father was controlling? Or are they right for “putting family first” and not condoning anything that doesn’t promote their family in a completely positive light?