It’s fun when a celebrity just totally steps in it. It seems to happen rarely these days, outside of celebrities who are active on social media, but that’s one thing that the podcast boom has been good for. Everyone, at some point, is going to be asked to sit in front of a microphone, and there’s only so long you can stay afloat with the network-approved talking points before your start going off the cuff. So, apologies if you have any particular fondness for generally lovable cowboy man Sam Elliott, because he stepped in it.
It happened on this week’s episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast (via IndieWire), during which Maron asked Elliott—who currently stars on Yellowstone prequel 1883—if he liked Jane Campion’s Oscar-nominated The Power Of The Dog. “Fuck no,” he responded, explaining that he read an article about how the movie is an “evisceration of the American myth” and how it was being promoted with images of “fucking cowboys” wearing “chaps and no shirts.” He also noted that there are “all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fucking movie.”
If you’re not picking up on the stepping in it just yet, Elliott did us a favor by digging even further than complaining about “allusions to homosexuality.” Regarding Campion, who is from New Zealand, Elliott said, “what the fuck does this woman—she’s a brilliant director by the way, I love her work, previous work—but what the fuck does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American west?” (Here’s a tip: If your argument hinges on the phrase “what the fuck does this woman know?” you need to do some rethinking.)
Elliott also complains about the fact that Campion filmed the movie in New Zealand as a stand-in for Old West Montana, as if there isn’t a very famous and beloved legacy of Westerns made by people who both aren’t from America and didn’t film their movies in America—which he, as someone we earlier referred to as a “generally lovable cowboy man” is definitely aware of. So that raises the question: What’s different about Sergio Leone making his movies in Italy and Jane Campion making this movie in New Zealand? Hmm. HMMMM.