Sam Elliott is apologizing after he called the film The Power of the Dog a “piece of shit” Western with “allusions of homosexuality.”
During Deadline’s Contenders TV event Sunday, which Elliott was at in promotion of Paramount+’s 1883, the actor backtracked on comments he made about the Jane Campion film during an episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.
“I told the WTF podcaster that I thought Jane Campion was a brilliant director, and I want to apologize to the cast of The Power of the Dog, brilliant actors all,” Elliott said. “And in particular Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I’m sorry and I am. I am.”
Elliott then continued, explaining that he shouldn’t have been on a “podcast with the call letters WTF,” and that the film “struck a chord with me.” During the March 1 podcast, he compared cowboy characters in the movie to Chippendales dancers, who are “running around in chaps and no shirts,” and asked “what the fuck does this woman from down there know about the American West,” in reference to the Oscar-winning New Zealand director.
“I wasn’t very articulate about it. I didn’t articulate it very well,” Elliott said. “And I said some things that hurt people and I feel terrible about that. The gay community has been incredible to me my entire career. And I mean my entire career, from before I got started in this town. Friends on every level and every job description up until today. I’m sorry I hurt any of those friends and someone that I loved. And anyone else by the words that I used.”
Campion previously shared that she though it was “really unfortunate and sad” for Elliott because he’s “really hit the trifecta of misogyny and xenophobia and homophobia” with his comments.
“I don’t like that,” she said. “I think he was being a little bit of a b-i-t-c-h. Plus he’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor.”