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TIFF RED CARPET: Venus and Serena Williams are conspicuously absent at the premiere of Venus and Serena

TIFF RED CARPET: Venus and Serena Williams are conspicuously absent at the premiere of Venus and Serena

Yesterday evening’s premiere of Venus and Serena had fanfare for all the wrong reasons. Red carpet appearances by co-directors Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, siblings Wyclef and Sedeck Jean and (for some reason) current Miss California London Becs were all overshadowed by the conspicuous absence of the documentary’s stars, Venus and Serena Williams. Notoriously media-wary, the sisters apparently disagreed with Baird and Major about the portrayal of their father and coach, Richard, and pulled their support for the film in protest just hours before its first screening. Reactions to the withdrawal were mixed. Baird said it was “disappointing,” but hopes “they’ll come around in the end.” The Star quotes one filmgoer taking a different tack, suggesting that it lent the film credibility. “If it was just going to be a marketing piece for the Williams family, what’s the point?”