We didn’t cover the initial outrage here on S&A; although Tambay posted the video on the S&A Facebook and Twitter pages, which drew lots of comments on both social media sites, and all over the web.
In short, if you missed it, earlier this month, former No. 1 player Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark made fun of Serena Williams’ physique at an exhibition match in Brazil; specifically, during the exhibition game, while on the court, Wozniacki stuffed her skirt with towels to give herself a much bigger butt, and also did the same in her top, making her chest look larger.
The match, which has been viewed several million times on YouTube, and other video sharing sites, was video-tapped, and, of course, the sequence in which Wozniacki imitates Serena became its own separate instant hit. It was immediately stamped with the scarlet letter – in this case the big “R” for Racist – going viral on the web rather quickly. As you’d probably expect, it was met with swift and sharp criticism, although it also brought out some of the ugliness that exists across the racial divide.
But, everyone else’s criticisms aside, how does the woman who was the target of that mocking viral video feel about it?
Initially mum about the video, USA Today reached out to Serena for comment, and in an article published last week, on December 19th, here’s what she had to say:
“I know Caro [Wozniacki] and I would call her my friend and I don’t think she (meant) anything racist by it… (Roddick) and (Djokovic) do it all the time and Caro does (it) and now it’s racist.??
When she says the Roddick and Djokovic do it all the time, she’s referring to the fact that both gentlemen have also parodied her equally irreverently, in the past, but, as she seems to be saying, there wasn’t as much uproard when those guys did it, so why the uproar now.
Also worth noting, according to USA Today, she and Wozniacki have a freindly history. The paper says that Wozniacki was one of the few players to visit Williams in 2011, after she’d undergone surgery for hematoma, and also that both of them “have traded advice on everything from jewelry to boyfriends.“
So does this change anything for you, if you’re one of those who was critical of Wozniacki’s actions? And was there as much outrage wehn Roddick did it (he’s actually done it a few times over the last several years, but I can’t say I recall as much criticism as there is this time, with Wozniacki); Is it a function of more people knowing about Wozniacki’s immitation than Roddick’s or Djokovic’s? Is Serena not taking this as seriously as you think she should, and isn’t seeing it from the *outside* world’s POV? If Wozniacki and Roddick were also black players, would it be interpreted differently? I would actually think that Roddick’s would get more criticism, since, some would argue, he’s taking advantage of both his gender and race priviledge. Or is it all much ado about nothing, and we should all take our cues from Serena?
But chime in with your thoughts on this Sunday afternoon…
First, here’s the Wozniacki video, and secondly, after it, you’ll find one of Roddick’s immitation videos:
And here’s Roddick’s: