Actor Sam Elliott has apologised and says he “feels terrible” for his fiery spray against Jane Campion’s gay Netflix drama The Power of the Dog.
The Western drama stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Burbank, a menacing and domineering closeted gay rancher who torments his family members.
Director Jane Campion’s film won critical acclaim for its exploration of toxic masculinity and sexuality.
The 77-year-old Elliott (above left) copped backlash after an expletive-filled rant about the film on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in March.
Sam also lashed out at the “allusions to homosexuality” throughout the “piece of s–t” film, also likening the rancher characters to male strippers who “wear bowties and not much else”.
He also sledged the New Zealander Campion (above right), asking, “What does this woman from down there… know about the American West?”
Sam Elliott apologises for rant about The Power of the Dog
But Elliott has apologised for the comments while speaking to Deadline at the weekend.
He told the outlet he thinks Jane “was a brilliant director. And I want to apologise to the cast of The Power of the Dog, brilliant actors all, and in particular Benedict Cumberbatch.”
“I can only say that I’m sorry and I am. I am,” he said.
He also apologised to the gay community, saying he “didn’t articulate” his feelings very well.
“I said some things that hurt people and I feel terrible about that,” he said.
“The gay community has been incredible to me my entire career and I mean my entire career, from before I got started in this town.
“I’m sorry I hurt any of those friends and someone that I loved. And anyone else by the words that I used.”
Jane Campion responds to rant about her Netflix film
Jane Campion herself later responded to Elliott’s rant about The Power of the Dog, calling the actor “a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H”.
“He’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor,” she said.
“The West is a mythic space and there’s a lot of room on the range.
“I think it’s a little bit sexist.
“Think about the number of amazing westerns made in Spain by [director] Sergio Leone… I consider myself a creator.
“I think he thinks of me as a woman or something lesser first, I don’t appreciate that.”
Campion also added that Elliott had “hit the trifecta of misogyny and xenophobia and homophobia.”
Jane Campion takes home Oscar for directing The Power of the Dog
Two weeks ago, Jane Campion won the Oscar for Best Director for The Power of the Dog.
It was Campion’s second Oscar win. The New Zealander is just the third female Best Director winner in the history of the Oscars.
The Power of the Dog was nominated in 12 categories, but Campion’s statue was the film’s only Oscar win.
Drama film CODA beat it to Best Picture, and Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee also missed out on Best Supporting Actor for his The Power of the Dog role.
Smit-McPhee earlier won a Golden Globe for his performance in January.
The Power of the Dog is streaming on Netflix now.
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