Sam Elliott Apologizes for The Power of the Dog Criticism: ‘I Feel Terrible’

Sam Elliott says he did not articulate his thoughts very well on The Power of the Dog and feels ‘terrible’ for the hurt that his words brought.

Sam Elliott

After generating a lot of controversy with his take on The Power of the Dogactor Sam Elliott has offered a public apology to director Jane Campion along with the film’s cast and anyone else who felt “hurt” by his words. Last month, Elliott made headlines after appearing as a guest on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast where he sounded off on The Power of the Dog. The 1883 star criticized the acclaimed film for its homoerotic undertones while suggesting Campion could not make a convincing Western based on her choice to shoot the movie in New Zealand.

Elliott has now offered a formal apology, per Deadline. He admits that he “was not very articulate” with how he worded his opinion and that he feels “terrible” that it wound up hurting people. Elliott stresses how supportive the gay community has been to him all throughout his career, making him feel especially bad to have offended anyone in the community. The actor also apologizes to Campion and The Power of the Dog‘s cast, insisting that he’s sorry for what he said.


“That movie struck a chord with me, and in trying to tell the guy, the ‘WTF’ guy how I felt about the film, I was not very articulate about it. I did not 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, before I got started when I was in this town. Friends on every level, in every job description, up until today, my agent, my dear friend, my agent for a number of years. I’m sorry that I hurt any of those friends, and someone that I loved, and anyone else, by the words that I used I also told this ‘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, in particular Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I’m sorry, and I am. I am. “

Related: Oscars 2022: Jane Campion Wins Best Director for The Power of the Dog

Via Netflix

Previously, Campion responded to Elliott’s criticism, and she was not taking it lightly. The Oscar-winning director says Elliott is no more of an expert than she is on the Wild West, as he’s merely an actor and not a genuine cowboy from the era. Campion also thought it was misogynistic for Elliott to blast her for shooting The Power of the Dog outside of the US, as it did not seem to be a problem for Sergio Leone to shoot iconic Westerns in Italy. As champion told Variety:

“I think Sam … Look, what can I say? I’m sorry, he was being a little bit of a BITCH. I’m sorry to say it, but 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. You know, I think it’s a little bit sexist, because you think about the number of amazing Westerns that were made in Spain by Sergio Leone. I consider myself a creator, and I think he sees me as a woman, or something less at first, and I do not appreciate that. “

The Power of the Dog is streaming on Netflix.

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