Sam Elliott apologizes for ‘Power of the Dog’ rant: ‘I feel terrible about that’

A man with white hair and a white mustache wearing a black tuxedo
Actor Sam Elliott arrives at the 2019 Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP)

Actor Sam Elliott apologized Sunday for widely criticized remarks he made about Jane Campion’s Oscar-winning film “The Power of the Dog.”

During a panel for Deadline’s Contenders TV convention in Los Angeles, the veteran performer walked back his comments comparing cowboys in the Netflix western to Chippendales dancers and criticizing “all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f— movie.”

“That movie struck a chord with me, and in trying to tell [‘WTF’ podcast host Marc Maron] how I felt about the film, I wasn’t very articulate about it,” Elliott said Sunday.


“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 when I was in this town.”

Actor Sam Elliott, who has played a cowboy for most of his career, slammed Jane Campion’s revisionist take on the American West: ‘I took it personal.’

March 1, 2022

Not long after Elliott disparaged her and her movie on Maron’s “WTF” podcast, Campion deemed the “1883” star’s statements sexist and called him “a little bit of a b—.” Additionally, Benedict Cumberbatch — who stars in “The Power of the Dog” as cruel rancher Phil Burbank — extrapolated Elliott’s “very odd” diatribe to “a massive intolerance within the world at large towards homosexuality still.”

The acclaimed period drama led this year’s Oscar nominees with 12 nods, while Campion took home the prize for directing.

At Sunday’s Deadline event, Elliott acknowledged the gay folks who have helped him navigate the entertainment industry, including his “dear friend” and talent agent “of a number of years.”

‘Power of the Dog’ director Jane Campion called actor Sam Elliott’s demeaning remarks about the Oscar-nominated western ‘a little bit sexist.’

March 13, 2022

“I’m sorry that I hurt any of those friends and someone that I loved and anyone else by the words that I used,” Elliott continued.


“I also told [Maron] 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.”

After Elliott said his piece, his “1883” co-star Faith Hill chimed in to vouch for his “amazing character.”

“Can I say something?” Hill said. “On set ... if [Elliott] said something to anyone that may have been taken offensively — which ... most people would never think it would be offensive — he would ... go over and sit down and apologize.”