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Serena Williams Tells New York Times ‘Do Better’ After Venus Photo Gaffe

The tennis star called the newspaper ”woefully unaware of their biases“

Tennis superstar Serena Williams urged The New York Times to “do better” after an article about her new $111 million Serena Ventures ran with a photo of her sister Venus Williams – labeled “Serena Williams” – in Wednesday’s print edition.

Serena shared a snap of the photo mix-up with the caption, “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.

The Times owned up to the mistake without really apologizing and promised a correction would run in the Thursday edition. The online version of the article used a photo of Serena from the Los Angeles premiere of “King Richard” in November.

Several people responding to Serena’s tweet suggested that the Times add more Black staffers to prevent all-too-frequent mistakes like this from happening again.


Serena Ventures was founded to back entrepreneurs with “diverse points of view,” as she told the Times. The firm already has a portfolio of 60 companies, including MasterClass and Daily Harvest. Williams is a founding partner of Serena Ventures with Alison Rapaport Stillman. She also has fashion lines including S by Serena and serves on the board of Poshmark.

Serena and Venus also executive produced the biopic about their late father, “King Richard,” which is up for six Oscars this year, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Will Smith.

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