Sam Elliott apologizes for his “clumsy, offensive” Power of the Dog rant

Sam Elliott
Sam Elliott (Photo: CBS)

Actor Sam Elliott has apologized for the comments he made about the movie, The Power of the Dog.

In early March, the veteran actor went on a rant against the movie on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast.

Elliott trashed the Montana-set western for being shot in New Zealand and for its male characters “running around in chaps and no shirts. There were all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fucking movie.” Elliott summarized the work as “a piece of shit”.

Related: Sam Elliott goes on epic rant trashing “piece of sh*t” gay movie ‘Power of the Dog’

Director Jane Campion, who went on to win the Best Director Oscar for the Netflix flick, later said Elliott was “was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H. He’s not a cowboy; he’s an actor. The West is a mythic space and there’s a lot of room on the range. I think it’s a little bit sexist.”

In the aftermath of the podcast, Elliott went to ground and did not offer any further comment. However, in a Deadline Contenders panel discussion held yesterday, Elliott rowed back the remarks. He attended the event to talk about 1883, his Yellowstone prequel show.

Elliott is asked if he’d like to add any clarification to his comments about The Power of the Dog.

The actor responded, “That movie struck a chord with me. And in trying to tell the guy, the WTF guy, how I felt about the film I wasn’t very articulate about it.

“I didn’t articulate it very well,” he said. “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, in every job description. Up until today, with my agent, my dear friend and my agent of a number of years.

“And I’m sorry I hurt any of those friends. And someone that I loved. And anyone else, by the words that I used.”

He went on to praise Campion and apologize to the cast.

“I also told this WTF podcaster that I thought Jane Campion was a brilliant director.

“And I want to apologize to the cast of Power Of The Dog, brilliant actors all, and in particular Benedict Cumberbatch.

“I can only say that I am sorry. And I am. I am.”

Related: Power of the Dog director Jane Campion calls Sam Elliott a “bit of a B-I-T-C-H”

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

Besides Campion, Cumberbatch, also reacted to Elliott’s initial comments. Speaking for the BAFTA’s Film Sessions series of interviews last month, and without naming Elliott, the British actor said, “someone really took offense… to the West being portrayed in this way.”

“Beyond that reaction,” Cumberbatch continued, “the denial that anybody could have anything other than a heteronormative existence because of what they do for a living or where they’re born… there’s also a massive intolerance in the world at large towards homosexuality, still, towards an acceptance of the other, of any kind of difference, and no more so than in this prism of conformity, in the sense of what is expected of a man in the Western archetype mold of masculinity.”