Hollywood celebrity Will Smith has recently become the focus of a veritable social media storm after Deadline Hollywood reported that he was “poised to play” Richard Williams, the father of US tennis players Serena and Venus Williams, in an upcoming biopic titled “King Richard”.
While Smith’s casting has not yet been confirmed, as BBC points out, a number of social media users seemed quick to voice their disappointment with this development, with some arguing that a more dark-skinned actor might’ve been a better choice.
Colorism matters..love will Smith but there are other black actors for this role https://t.co/qrV1QuBiJH— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) 5 марта 2019 г.
I like Will Smith but him as Richard Williams is not ok. It's just not appropriate and there are other actors that are dark skinned and have name recognition that can do this work.Anyone that doesn't get that its colorism is delusional— Kathia Woods (@kathia_woods) 5 марта 2019 г.
Obviously nothing against Will Smith, but why is he playing Venus and Serena's Father?? Yes, the man can act but for the love of God there are dark-skinned Black men that can act too.— Neysha 🔜 #SXSW (@La_Ney_sha) 5 марта 2019 г.
They can get one these men to do it or maybe even give an unknown actor a shot. pic.twitter.com/CTdxVTMT2v
I love Will Smith more than anyone but why not cast Mahershala Ali or somebody darker skinned like the man being portrayed actually is ☹️ #DarkSkinMatters— Re Moon (@reyemoon) 5 марта 2019 г.
Others, however, argued that Smith’s casting actually makes sense.
As if this is Brad Pitt proposing he should play the role of Richard Williams in black face. Will Smith is a prominent black actor executing the role of a prominent black figure in the sports industry. Why is colourism even a concern here???— MALIKA mal-eye-kuh (@BeLikeLika) 5 марта 2019 г.
Now SJW have lost it. Goin after Will Smith because he is not black enough is ridiculous and stupid. pic.twitter.com/SlZEvsRzlV— Nadesico (@Nade09033433) 6 марта 2019 г.
Cant believe all these people complaining about Will Smith not being black enough to play Richard Williams, yet no one is bothered about him not being blue enough to play the Genie in Aladdin— Mark Cooper (@U2coop) 6 марта 2019 г.