Not even Serena Williams is safe from shady behavior from the media.
In a tweet posted yesterday, the tennis GOAT revealed that the print version of The New York Times overshadowed her latest success by printing a photo of her sister, Venus, instead of herself.
“No matter how far we come, we get reminded that it’s not enough,” she wrote via Twitter. “This is why I raised $111M for @serenaventures. To support the founders who are overlooked by engrained systems woefully unaware of their biases. Because even I am overlooked.”
No matter how far we come, we get reminded that it's not enough. This is why I raised $111M for @serenaventures. To support the founders who are overlooked by engrained systems woefully unaware of their biases. Because even I am overlooked. You can do better, @nytimes. pic.twitter.com/hvfCl5WUoz
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) March 2, 2022
The New York Times, like many other outlets, was announcing Serena Ventures’ inaugural fund. And while the paper’s online story about the fund featured the correct photo, the print version of the story — which goes out to hundreds of thousands of subscribers a day, and hits just as many newsstands — did not.
And the Grey Lady responded to Serena Williams on Twitter when she — rightly — called them out for their amateurish mistake.
“This was our mistake,” they admitted. “It was due to an error when selecting photos for the print edition, and it did not appear online. A correction will appear in tomorrow’s paper.”
This was our mistake. It was due to an error when selecting photos for the print edition, and it did not appear online. A correction will appear in tomorrow’s paper.
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) March 2, 2022
As Audacy points out, this isn’t the first time that a white-dominant newspaper has mislabeled photos of accomplished Black Americans.
In addition to this latest brouhaha featuring Venus and Serena Williams, Fox News had to infamously issue an apology when Aretha Franklin passed — and they used a photo of Patti LaBelle instead of the Queen of Soul.
Sometimes, too, white-dominant tech giants can be outright racist. Back in 2015, USA Today reported that Google had to infamously issue an apology after their new photo program labeled Black Americans as “gorillas,” which led to a spokesperson claiming that the Alphabet Company was “appalled” at this mischaracterization (As they should have been).
As Serena Williams correctly pointed out, no matter how far we’ve come, we still have a long way to go.
Serena Ventures' Inaugural Fund
As AfroTech previously reported, Serena Williams announced her Serena Ventures inaugural fund on March 2. Funded by the likes of Norwest, Capital G, Kapor Foundation, and Liontree, the $111 million fund was created to “enact change at scale,” per an official statement released by Serena Ventures.