Serena Williams was called a ‘monkey’ by Romanian TV show host

A Romanian TV-show host said on the air that Serena Williams looked “like one of those monkeys at the zoo.”

“Serena Williams looks exactly like one of those monkeys at the zoo with the red asses,” Radu Banciu said on his late-evening show on B1 TV, according to a translation of a press release last week from the National Council for Combating Discrimination in Bucharest by Insider’s associate translation editor, Ruqayyah Moynihan.

“If monkeys wore trousers, they’d look exactly like Serena Williams does on the court,” Banciu said.

Banciu has been fined about $1,875 for the comments. But it does not appear that he will lose his job.

“The governing board shows that slavery of people of color was based, among other things, on their comparison with monkeys,” the press release said. “As a result, such statements express a form of extreme racism.”

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This isn’t the first time Williams has been subjected to racial abuse.

She told The Associated Press that at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami in 2007, a heckler was removed after shouting “Hit the net like any Negro would” at her.

And after the US Open final in 2018, Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper twice printed a cartoon depicting Williams as an angry baby with an oversized nose and lips.

Alexis Ohanian, Williams’ husband, said the cartoon by Mark Knight was “racist and misogynistic.” But an Australian media watchdog said it merely showed Williams “in a highly animated tantrum.”

Williams, who lost to Bianca Andreescu in the US Open final earlier this month, recently slipped to ninth place in the WTA Tour rankings, with Australia’s Ashleigh Barty ranked first.


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