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Serena Williams Less Bothered By Viral Video Imitations Than You Are (So Now What?)

Serena Williams Less Bothered By Viral Video Imitations Than You Are (So Now What?)

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:

This Article is related to: News


Comments

emmanuaeladdo

my sweat heart serena williams you have nice bottom because you are so beauitful and i
do fancy you as well even sexy under wear really suit you so don;t listen to nobody what
people will say to you .serena williams you look so amzaing when watch you on a tv
you so increditable so nice beauitful i am praying so hard that if get such womens like this
will be very much happy .so thanks bye

starry118

May/may not have been racist, but it was certainly classless and mean. Well, Wozniacki got what she wanted: Attention. Mission complete. Oh, and Serena, she's not your friend. Way to take the high road though.

bondgirl

Big, round and full butts are associated with people of African descent first…anyone else is secondary. It really doesn't have to be every BW, does it? The majority of BW do, and more importantly, big butts (thanks to Sir Mix-A-Lot and others) are perceived as the de facto feature of BW. You will also find that those other races of women hail from regions where there is an African population, and a high probability of some West African lineage. Think JLo & Sophia Vergara. You will nto see racism if your barometer is intention only. There are plenty of white college kids who dress up in blackface for Halloween w/o any knowledge of the history of it, but it's still racist whether they know it or not. WHo really can say why Caroline's video went viral; maybe she looked funny than the men, maybe because she's a white girl it looked cuter to people. It's irrelevant for people to ask, especially when they don't have problems with it. It's like I'm being told what I should care about. We care about the video with Caroline, not Roddick because we didn't SEE Roddick. Just because her event wasn't highly publicized doesn't mean it wasn't shown throughout the world on television. There are countries where even a low ranked tennis player's match is a big deal for them. Maybe I was too young to remember, but I don't recall Martin Navratilova or Lindsey Davenport's body being ridiculed in such a manner. There are white people with Asian eyes (Josh Brolin, Charles Bronson, etc) but c'mon, if someone started making fun of an Asian tennis player this way, black people would be 100% defending her. Why it's so difficult for BW/BM to support BW's honor in these kinds of circumstances, I'll never understand.

petros

It's definitely tasteless but why racist? There was no race reference there at all. Are we just seeing racism by default in these situations? Would it be considered racist if a black woman was making fun of a white woman's funny laugh?

Sam Ojekwe

SERENA WILLIAMS’ response is CLASSY.
yet, SERENA WILLIAMS’ CLASSY RESPONSE does NOT CHANGE the FACT that
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI’S ANTICS WERE FULL OF MALICE, MEAN-SPIRITED,
ABUSIVE, ABRASIVE, OFFENSIVE, CRUDE, CRASS, CLASS – LESS and IDIOTIC.
ALSO, it does NOT CHANGE the FACT that RODDICK and DJOKOVIC who have
ALSO BEHAVED IN A SIMILLARLY STUPID MANNER ON SOME OCCASSIONS BEFORE HAVE ALSO BEEN ON EACH OF THOSE OCCASIONS
FULL OF MALICE, MEAN-SPIRITED, ABUSIVE, ABRASIVE, OFFENSIVE,
CRUDE, CRASS, CLASS – LESS and COMPLETELY IDIOTIC.
yeah ….
really ………

kid chaos

More bothered about the sisters love of white men

No

Racist? Maybe. Bad form? definitely.

QBN

If she put on black face THEN it would have been racist…

B

@ Silly Nadia
When you lay off watching old Serena matches, join us in the real world. This is shadow acts summary of what she said. I read the article from USA today yesterday.

Williams explained that she hadn't seen the widely viewed video clip and didn't understand why it suddenly took on racist tones when others had done it before. " Roddick) and (Djokovic) do it all the time and Caro does (it) and now it's racist.??" she wrote.
http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/1780467?articlePage=1

You aren't too smart are you? So if others did not get called on it, it means it's not offensive? Could it be that those who have a problem with it did not see the others?
Maybe it was the fact other renditions were not reported widely? Maybe it was the fake butt that was not in other impressions or maybe it was a tipping point for those who already new about the other impressions?
See how easy that was to use a little brain power?
Saying the chick was racist and thanking those who tried to defend her, but explain it was with no malice makes more sense…. To normal non stans

Yes you are done with this conversation because you are being woefully ignorant on purpose…. (Lawd I Hope)
Just like the spike lee comment
Lmbao

Happy holidays.

Donella

Most women on top of their game, the alphas, the dominants, the ones everyone else wants to be (imitation as flattery?) know a jealous insecure woman when they see one and smile and maybe give a little chuckle. Just like President Obama brushes off the smaller men who envy, Serena probably just shrugs and goes back to practice in order to b!tch slap chihuahuas at the net. Go Serena! LOL

B

@ Nadia
On the contray my initial response was quite thoughtful and well reasoned.
It was you who went into full Stan mode. Come now, you are talking about how Serena was raised like you are her play cousin. As I said before I don't need or require permission from an athlete to criticize what came through my television. I am not a brainless twit like someone you know personally ( hint: mirror). Now, you chose the response you got, not me. Speak to me like you have sense.
If you are going to work as a part time Serena bouncer, you should be more thick skinned.
Have a seat, you are doing a little too much.
Saying she was not being racist is one thing, but to act as if you are oblivious why it got that reaction is ridiculous. Both are not mutually exclusive.
Remember those who came to her defense were doing so in the defense of her and other black women.

As I said before to say you don't understand why it caused a commotion you are either ignorant or dissmive.

B

@ Nadia
You delusional child. If I don't care what Serena thinks, do you really think I care what you think? A faceless fool on the Internet. Please have a seat. I am not in the business of celebrity worship nor am I as dimwitted you to need Serena to form an opinion. Which one of us sounds like a crazy? A person who comments on what a white chick did in a public place or the person who says if Serena says it okay, it's okay with me. You sound immature and a tad bit slow.
You are tandem to a Justin Beiber fan, not fully developed.
No fully developed brain would vouch for a someone else based on what a celebrity said. You thought that made sense to type. Considering you are the brainiac who could not figure out why Spike said he did like Django before seeing the movie the question that must be asked,
Do you walk upright?

B

Let me put it like this:
Who cares what Serena thinks? I don't use WWSD ( what would Serena do) as a barometer on what I think. When you do something in a public forum as Wozniacki did people can react to it any way they choose regardless of Serena. Maybe she doesn't have sense to know that it's offensive just like Tiger excused fuzzy zeller comments.
If she wants to claim it was not racist, okay.
However to say she doesn't understand why people thought it was racist makes her ignorant of the historical exploitation/ ridicule of the African female form.
So again who cares what Serena thinks?
Btw Williams let her " friend" get slammed for two weeks before saying a word.
What a friend.

Orville

If people think Wozniacki's so called joke was just an inside joke in tennis they need to be paying close attention. Does Courtney not get it why these white tennis players make fun of Serena? She's the best female tennis player in the world she's won Wimbledon, US OPEN, Olympic gold medal, and the WTA championships. Serena is the dominant female tennis champion and she's a black woman. For some whites they are uncomfortable with the fact, a part time player, a woman who is thirty one years old can do as Whoopi Goldberg said "beat their asses with her eyes closed." Serena is just that good.

I read her comment from Wozniacki and she's just trying to keep the peace. Serena is probably privately offended by Caroline's comments but knows the white media are going to say she's too sensitive if she speaks out. Sherri Shephard and Whoopi Goldberg on the View already defended Serena in the media.

I think Wozniacki's joke was in poor taste maybe she didn't think it wasn't racist but it certainly was extremely offensive and not funny at all.
There is a difference between making fun of someone's mannerisms like when Djokovic makes fun of Sharapova or Nadal than when someone mocks and ridicules Serena's body. Maybe Courtney needs to read the wikipedia entry on Sara Baartman? There is a long history of black women's bodies being ridiculed and demonized in white society. Also, I want to add there is a black teenage girl Taylor Townsend the number one junior in the world she did not get funding to compete at the junior US OPEN. Patrick McEnroe and the racist USTA said that Townsend needed to lose weight. Now Townsend, won the junior Australian Open in singles and the junior US OPEN girl title in doubles. Now imagine being a sixteen year old girl and being told you need to lose weight and get into shape? Never mind that Townsend body is still developing and growing.
I disagree with Courtney, Serena is trying to be diplomatic, she can't make a big scene about it she's just being smart.

Serena knows that Caroline's so called joke is really just an act of jealousy of a lower ranked player who never won a grand slam. Wozniacki also has a losing record against Serena Williams.

Raquel

It is Serena's "job" not to care. She is a black athlete in a white-dominated sport and has dealt with…let's call it racial insensitivity… since she was a child. She knows that her best response is to keep kicking ass on the court and to let the outside viewers of "innocent" white mischief make the fuss. Jackie Robinson did this job well. President Obama is doing it on the national stage. Black people understand the tightrope of representation that minorities face when in these positions. So, I'm not surprised that Serena is downplaying the nonsense. It is her job as the most visible (literally) athlete in her sport to do so. Hell, folks still lose their minds when she explodes on the court. Imagine if she cried foul every time white folks took aim at her off the court!?!?

Jeff

I'm a huge Serena Williams fan but I've never found it racist. The level of taste is debatable but large breasts and butts are not the exclusive realm of black women. This isn't a Sarah Baartman situation. I think it's good natured teasing of someone they have a lot of respect for. All of the players who tease her about her "assets" are the same ones who say she is the greatest female tennis player they have ever seen. Particularly Roddick. He and Serena have been friends since they were kids and they've been known to tease each other through the years. It's actually really refreshing in a sport that's known for being pretty uptight.

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