March 5, 2019
Photos by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images and Julian Finney/Getty Images
If reports are correct, Will Smith just may portray Richard Williams in King Richard, a biopic about the story of how the Louisiana native overcame hardship and strife to coach his daughters Venus and Serena Williams into elite categories, easily naming them two of the greatest athletes in sports history. And he did it all with no prior Tennis knowledge.
Critics have long since criticized Richard’s intense style of coaching. According to Deadline, “When his daughters were around the age of four, Richard Williams drew up a 78-page plan for their professional tennis careers. He began giving them tennis lessons and the girls learned the game on cracked, weedy public courts in Compton, reportedly after their father brawled with young toughs who were not fans of the sport and would not make way.”
While Smith’s involvement in the film has yet to be confirmed (he’s currently shooting Bad Boys 3 and just confirmed The Fresh Princess), concerns of the actor portraying a darker skin man had the Internet in shambles. But, Black Twitter stepped in QUICK to defend the 50-year-old.
So #WillSmith playing The William's father in #KingRichard bothers ppl bc of his complexion but no one had an issue when he played Chris Gardner in #ThePursuitofHappyness (that's how the film spelled "happiness")? Check out the complexion difference there…
— Jefé-B-O-L-O-U-S (@BRTS_DN) March 5, 2019
Hmmm, I don't know…he was awesome playing Chris Gardner in The Pursuit of Happyness#WillSmith
— Sam I Am (@donnainthemix) March 5, 2019
Brooooo y’all really mad that #WillSmith playing Venus and Serena Daddy?!?? Hollering about colorism….maybe he was just a better fit for the role. Is that possible? Go find something important to be mad about!!! #KingRichard
— ❤TupacDaughter (@MrsMakaveliCole) March 5, 2019
So people are upset that #WillSmith’s skin tone doesn’t match that of Richard Williams?! Please stop it and get mad about something real. Will is an amazing actor and having him attached to this project is good for everyone. #SpreadPositivity
— Perfect Cell the Shoe Fiend (@CellFiend) March 5, 2019
Let’s be real Angela Bassett played the HELL out of Tina Turner. As did Chadwick Boseman‘s portrayal of Thurgood Marshall. Colorism in the black community will always be a thing until we get comfortable talking about it. Weigh in below.
TELL US: Good casting?