It was meant to be in jest, a light-hearted jibe of a friend, but Caroline Wozniacki’s imitation of US tennis star Serena Williams has stirred up controversy, with many claiming it was in poor taste and racist.
Wozniacki – a former world number one – is well known for not taking things too seriously, but her latest prank seems to have hit all the wrong notes. At a recent exhibition against Maria Sharapova in Brazil, the Dane stuffed towels in various places to replicate the body of the curvaceous Grand Slam champion Williams.
The crowd – including tennis superstar Roger Federer – all laughed along and the impression lasted for only one point, but if the reaction on Twitter and mainstream media is anything to go by, Wozniacki is getting some serious heat for her impersonation.
One blogger on Tumblr posted: "...this isn’t 'harmless fun' as one article described it. its racist. out and outright racism. mocking and making fun of the bodies of black women for a laugh? real funny, stupid white girl. real real funny.”
Another blogger said: "It may have been done in 'jest,' but I love how people can turn a black woman’s body and sexuality into a caricature. However, we should not have the autonomy to celebrate any successes of our own.”
Wozniacki has apparently imitated Williams before (that time she danced along to a Rihanna song), and while this instance may have been in poor taste – and to be honest, not all that funny either – it’s hard to see how it was intended as racist.
Take a look at the video below – harmless fun or racist?