Will Smith's Casting as Serena Williams' Father Sparks Backlash Over Colorism

Many people think the role of Richard Williams, who trained his daughters Serena and Venus Williams, should go to a darker-skinned actor.

AceShowbiz - Reports of Will Smith's possible involvement in "King Richard" have sent fans furious. Many people think the "Aladdin" actor is too "light-skinned" to play Serena Williams and Venus Williams' father Richard Williams in the upcoming biopic.

"I feel like will smith vying to play serena and venus' father is one of those situations where light skinned BP should leave s**t alone," one concerned fan wrote on Twitter. "i think richard williams skin color is super relevant and related to the way his daughters were treated when they were young."

Another also disagreed with the casting choice, "I just spent 13 sec looking to the left and right in rapid succession. I dig Will immensely but plenty other brothas that could better portray Mr Williams in appearance."

"Colorism matters..love will Smith but there are other black actors for this role," read another tweet, as some people suggested that actors like two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, Idris Elba and Denzel Washington would've been a better choice for the role.

Some others took issue with the fact that Smith has repeatedly taken roles they are considered unsuitable for. Comparing the "Suicide Squad" star to Scarlett Johansson who played Motoko Kusanagi in "Ghost in the Shell" based on Japanese manga series, one tweeted, "Will Smith is turning into Scarlett Johansson... I hope I later find out that Don Cheadle turned this role down."

Another sarcastically commented, "Scarlett Johansson might as well play Venus with this kind of mess casting." Someone else similarly wrote, "Scarlett Johansson didn't get the part, what a shame?"

There are some people who defended Smith, though. "it's called acting, for those saying will is too fine or idris Elba looks more like him, Hollywood does wonders with makeup," one explained. "Anyways I'm definitely here for it."

Calling the debate "bizarre," one other Twitter user added, "As a white guy I understand the outrage when a caucasian is picked to play a chinese person in a movie, and 'blacking up' is obviously unacceptable - but this is bizarre. Apparently Will Smith is not black enough to play the father of the Williams sisters?! Down to shades now?"

Another hit back at the critics, "So you know #WillSmith is BLACK right??? This is reverse #colorism and one of the reason we have issues within our community. #WillSmith congratulations!!!"

Smith has not responded to the controversy. Deadline, which broke the casting news, didn't say that "The Pursuit of Happyness" actor has officially signed on for the movie.

The film is said to focus on Serena and Venus' father as he "overcame tremendous hardship, skepticism and his own troubled past to raise two of the game's greatest players" despite lacking tennis background.

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