Sam Elliott can’t seem to keep himself out of headlines as of late. The long-standing Western actor has made it known that he certainly doesn’t care for many of the contemporary Western-themed films and television shows that have come out as of late. The controversy started when he slammed the film, Power of the Dog. According to Elliott, “That’s what all these f – – king cowboys in that movie looked like,” he added, “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There are all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f – – king movie.” After the media storm that followed these remakes, Elliott is back with another hot take about Yellowstone. “I don’t watch ‘Yellowstone.’ I love Kevin Costner. There are a lot of good people on the cast, a few of them I’ve worked with before. Nothing against any of them, but it’s just too much like f – – king ‘Dallas’ or something for me,” Elliott said.
The incredibly odd thing about bashing Yellowstone is that Sam Elliott was just on the spin-off project of Yellowstone, 1883. While 1883 is the prequel to the original series, it’s still odd that he would be compelled to say anything negative about the series. Both shows involve the family that Kevin Costner is a part of. It could be that Elliott is just a crotchety old man that doesn’t find merit in many things, or that he is literally pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes by saying ridiculous things to get publicity. Hopefully the latter is true because some of his remarks are disappointing considering he has been one of the biggest Western stars in the world. The genre may be going through a bit of an awakening, but he is an actor that should recognize other artistic ventures.
The initial comments that were made by Sam Elliott reverberated through Hollywood, including reaching the ears of Power of the Dog director, Jane Campion. She called out hypocrisy in Elliott’s claims that her film was not Western enough. According to Campion, “You know, he’s not a cowboy either, he’s an actor — he grew up in Sacramento and was educated in Oregon . . . We’re dealing in a fictional world, we’re dealing in a mythic universe.” Her point is well noted in that this is all just a fictional world that is being created, and outside people can choose to buy into it or not. However, Elliott seems to be a more involved voice in the world of Westerns, as his career has been comprised of plenty of those types of roles. Kevin Costner has surely been Western’s biggest star as of late, so time will tell if he reacts to these comments.
Sam Elliott allegedly claimed that the Yellowstone show was too soap opera for him, which again, is odd considering he was in 1883. Both shows share a great deal of the same types of drama. Again, they both concern John Dutton’s (Kevin Costner) family this could have just been one of those moments in which word vomit becomes our worst enemy, or he truly feels this way. It’s a bit disappointing to be honest, considering all the great Western roles he has portrayed. The Stranger in The Big Lebowski, Virgil in Tombstone, and Beau Bennet in The Ranch are just some of the roles where he has shined as some sort of cowboy archetype. While we remain in this cancel culture type of society, the public might go after the man for his comments. But then again, he may not care what anyone thinks or says. He has been in the acting game for 55 years, so he may not be the type who can get canceled.