Sam Elliott apologises for calling ‘The Power Of The Dog’ a “piece of shit”

"I said some things that hurt people and I feel terrible about that"

Sam Elliott has apologised after calling The Power Of The Dog a “piece of shit” earlier this year.

The actor recently stirred controversy during an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, where he spoke about the “allusions of homosexuality” in the Oscar-winning Netflix film, while also comparing the characters to Chippendales dancers who “wear bowties and not much else”.

While he praised the director Jane Campion, he added: “What the fuck does this woman from down there [New Zealand] know about the American west? Why the fuck did she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana? And say this is the way it was? That fucking rubbed me the wrong way.”

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Elliott has now apologised for his comments during Deadline’s Contenders TV event, saying: “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. And in particular Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I’m sorry and I am. I am.”

Sam Elliott The Power Of The Dog
Sam Elliott wasn’t a fan of ‘The Power Of The Dog’. CREDIT: Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Wynn Las Vegas/Alamy/Netflix

He added: “First, don’t do a podcast with the call letters WTF,” saying that the movie “struck a chord with me” and wanted to discuss “how I felt about the film” with Maron.

Elliott also apologised to the gay community for his comments, admitting: “I wasn’t very articulate about it. I didn’t articulate it very well. 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.”

Jane Campion
Jane Campion (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for Netflix)

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Following his initial comments, a number of those involved responded to Elliott’s words, including Campion, who said: “I’m sorry, he 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.

“When you think about the number of amazing Westerns made in Spain by [director] Sergio Leone. I consider myself a creator. I think he thinks of me as a woman or something lesser first, and I don’t appreciate that.”

Cumberbatch and fellow star Kodi Smit-McPhee also addressed the actor’s comments, the former calling them “very odd”.

The Power Of The Dog was nominated for 12 Oscars at the recent ceremony, walking home with Best Director for Campion.

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