Sports writer Clarence Hill is one of the critics of the decision to cast Smith in the role.
In a Tuesday tweet, Hill wrote, "Colorism matters. Love Will Smith but there are other black actors for this role."
Film writer Valerie Complex agreed. She simply tweeted, "colorism at work."
Colorism matters..love will Smith but there are other black actors for this role https://t.co/qrV1QuBiJH— Clarence Hill Jr (@Clarence Hill Jr) 1551764819.0
colorism at work.... https://t.co/YsxlKjDVoh— valerie complex (@valerie complex) 1551742908.0
According to Deadline, "King Richard" will zero on in the tennis stars' coach/dad and their upbringing.
Richard, originally from Louisiana, began teaching his daughters the sport of tennis at the age of 4 when the family lived in Compton, California.
The film will document the family's hardships on the road to athletic superstardom.
Venus, 38, has won seven Grand Slam singles, while sister Serena, 37, has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles. Both women have 14 Grand Slam doubles championships.