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Will Smith's Casting As Serena And Venus Williams's Father In Upcoming Film Is Being Criticized For A Very Specific Reason

L-Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTVR-Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Will Smith is slated to take on the role of Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams' father, and legendary tennis coach in an upcoming movie.

However, the choice of Smith is inspiring discussion around a topic that we so often ignore in Hollywood: colorism.


What is colorism, you ask?

Colorism refers to discrimination based on the color of one's skin.

Now, some of you well intentioned white people out there may be saying, "What's the issue? Will Smith is black."

Well, you're not wrong, but check out the difference between he and Richard Williams:


Comparatively, Will Smith has MUCH lighter skin. And it is an issue.

It almost communicates, "well I'm only comfortable with a certain shade of black people in my movies."






The movie, entitled King Richard, written by Zach Baylin, was meant to be a biopic about the story of Richard Williams.

According to Indiewire:

"The story of Richard Williams is notable as he had no prior tennis experience before coaching Venus and Serena, inarguably two of the greatest tennis players in history."







Some people have also drawn on Zoe Saldana's casting as Nina Simone in NINA, where makeup was actually applied to the actress to give her darker skin.






Either way, fans are hoping to send a clear message: colorism is NOT okay.





And people believe that Richard Williams, who "overcame tremendous hardship, skepticism and his own troubled past to raise two of the game's greatest players,"even making "a 78-page plan for [Serena and Venus'] professional tennis careers," deserves better.

It is certainly an important conversation to have, as it's one often ignored by the greater Hollywood audience. Inclusion doesn't end at generalities.