Actor Sam Elliott admitted fault in incendiary comments he made about the western film The Power Of The Dog in a podcast interview. This happened on Sunday when Elliott was part of a  Deadline panel discussion with fellow cast members promoting their new series 1883. 

While speaking on WTF WIth Marc Maron in early March, Elliott called the movie a “piece of sh–t,” nitpicked details of the wardrobe and filming locations for authenticity, and seemed to take issue with “all these allusions to homosexuality” in the movie. Elliott first said in the panel, “that movie struck a chord with me, and then trying to tell [Marc Maron] how I felt about the film, I wasn’t very articulate about it … I said some things that hurt people, and I feel terrible about that.”

The Oscar-winning actor then expressed regret for his hurtful comments about the film’s gay themes, and added, “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.” He also extended apologies to the film’s cast, “And in particular, Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say I am sorry and I am.”

Curiously, Elliott did not specifically extend an apology to the film’s director Jane Campion, instead simply saying, “I told the WTF Podcaster that I thought Jane Campion was a brilliant director,” as if that one compliment balanced out his several minutes of belittling her filmmaking ability, and even questioning her right to make a western in the first place. Right after calling her a brilliant director in the interview, Elliott said, “What the f–ck does this woman, from down there [New Zealand], know about the American West?”


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Campion, who recently won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film, had choice words for Elliott’s critique when it first came out. “I think it’s really unfortunate for him because he’s really hit the trifecta of misogyny and xenophobia and homophobia,” she said. “I don’t like that. I think he was being a bit of a b-i-t-c-h. Plus he’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor.”

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