Sam Elliott rips gay themes in ‘The Power of the Dog’



Western film icon Sam Elliott is being spit-roasted online after railing on Jane Campion’s 12-time Oscar-nominated drama “The Power of the Dog” for including “allusions to homosexuality” and other LGBTQ themes.

The “1883” actor dropped the shocking bombshell during a recent appearance on Marc Maron’s “WTF Podcast,” Entertainment Weekly reported.

“You want to talk about that piece of s – – t?” the 77-year-old “Tombstone” star sputtered when asked for his thoughts about the provocative Netflix movie, which is a contender for the Best Picture and Best Director Academy Awards.

For the uninitiated, the much-praised “The Power of the Dog” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a closeted gay rancher in 1925 Montana who’s abusive toward his new sister-in-law and her son.

“They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts,” Sam Elliott ranted.Emerson MillerNonetheless, Elliott took umbrage with the film’s characters, who he analogized to Chippendales dancers “who wear bowties and not much else.”

“That’s what all these f – – king cowboys in that movie looked like,” the Oscar nominee ranted. “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f – – king movie.”

At that point, Maron informed Elliott that those themes are “what the movie is about,” whereupon the “Road House” actor doubled down on his remarks.

“Where’s the Western in this Western?” Elliott asked. “I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f – – king chaps.

“He had two pairs of chaps — a woolly pair and a leather pair. And every f – – king time he would walk in from somewhere — he never was on a horse, maybe once — he’d walk into the f – – king house, storm up the f – – king stairs, go lay in his bed in his chaps and play his banjo,” he said. “It’s like, what the f – – k?”

Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog.”APThe “Big Lebowski” narrator added that despite being a “brilliant director,” the New Zealand-born Campion was unfit to direct a flick set in Montana in the early 20th century.

“I love her previous work, but what the f – – k does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West?” Elliott fumed, further criticizing her decision to shoot the Western in her home country.

“I just came from Texas where I was hanging out with families — not men — but families,” Elliott continued in an attempt to bolster his case that she got the cowboy lifestyle completely wrong.

“Big, long, extended, multiple-generation families that made their living and their lives were all about being cowboys,” the actor said. “And, boy, when I f – – king saw that [movie], I thought, ‘What the f – – k? Where are we in this world today?’ ”

Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog.”Kirsty Griffin“Where’s the Western in this Western?” Elliott asked. “I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his f – – king chaps.”Kirsty GriffinCumberbatch plays a sexually-conflicted rancher in the Oscar-nominated anti-Western.Kirsty GriffinSuffice it to say, Elliott’s comments didn’t sit well with progressive cinemaphiles on social media, with one tweeting, “Holy s – – t do I like Sam Elliott a lot less now.”

“This is some barely even trying to hide it homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic s – – t,” they added.

“Just in! Sam Elliott reinforces the whole message of the film in accidental endorsement of Power of the Dog,” another wrote. “Which is that cowboy culture hasn’t changed one bit and is still rife with toxic masculinity/homophobia.”

“I like Sam Elliott but someone probably needs to remind him he’s an actor from Sacramento who lives in Malibu, not an actual cowboy,” quipped one critic.

I like Sam Elliott but someone probably needs to remind him he’s an actor from Sacramento who lives in Malibu, not an actual cowboy— stuart (@punished_stu) March 1, 2022
One film buff found his criticism of the movie’s New Zealand filming location hypocritical given US audiences’ love of Spaghetti Westerns — low-budget cowboy flicks filmed in Italy in the 1960s and ’70s.

Another wondered why Elliott hated the LGBTQ themes in “Dog” when he apparently loved Ang Lee’s 2005 flick “Brokeback Mountain,” another pioneering cowboy movie that was rife with gay themes. In a 2006 interview with entertainment writer Scott Holleran, the actor — who coincidentally starred in Lee’s “The Hulk” — called it a “beautiful film,” though insisting that since it dealt with “sheepherders, not cattlemen,” it wasn’t a Western.

“The whole homosexual thing was interesting — they stepped over the line — but Katharine and I both looked at it and thought, ‘What’s the big deal?’ ” he added.

When asked if he thought it denigrated the cowboy, Elliott responded, “I do not think it’s anti-cowboy. I have tremendous respect for Ang as a filmmaker.”

Elliott said the film misrepresented the lives of cowboys.Clay Enos

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