Sam Elliott Apologizes for ‘The Power of the Dog’ Comments: ‘The Gay Community Has Been Incredible to Me’

Earlier this year, Sam Elliott received backlash for his comments about The Power of the Dog movie. Now, he’s speaking out about his comments and apologizing to those he offended.

Sam Elliott The Power of the Dog Comments
Sam Elliott at the Academy Awards | Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

What did Sam Elliott say about ‘The Power of the Dog’?

The Power of the Dog follows Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch), a curmudgeon rancher who cruelly harasses his sister-in-law (Kirsten Dunst) and her son (Kodi Smit-McPhee). The film explores both sexuality and masculinity in a way that highlights LGBTQ storylines that are frequently excluded from western movies. Sam Elliott’s latest show, 1883, also explores life in the west as it follows some of the area’s earliest frontiers. As an actor with countless western movie roles under his belt, it seemed natural that Elliott would share his thoughts on The Power of the Dog when he appeared in the WTF with Marc Maron podcast on Feb. 28.

However, Elliott’s response to the film was not what many fans were expecting to hear.

“You wanna talk about that piece of sh*t?” said Elliott on WTF. “I didn’t like it anyway.

Sam Elliott also compared the cowboys in The Power of the Dog to Chippendales dancers because they frequently wore chaps.

“They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts,” Elliott said. “Cumberbatch never got out of his f***in’ chaps. He had two pair of chaps, a wooly pair and a leather pair. Every time he’d walk in from somewhere, he never was on a horse, maybe once. He’d walk into the f***in’ house, storm up the f***in’ stairs, go lay on his bed in his chaps and play his banjo. I was like what the f***? Where’s the western? Where’s the western in this western?”

The ‘1883’ actor slammed Oscar-winning director Jane Campion

Sam Elliott also criticized The Power of the Dog‘s Oscar-winning director Jane Campion.

“What the f*** does this woman, she’s a brilliant director by the way, I love her work, previous work. But what the f*** does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American west?” continued Elliott said. “And why the f*** does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say this is the way it was? So that f***in’ rubbed me the wrong way, pal.”

The Power of the Dog cast
(L-R) Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirsten Dunst, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jane Campion, and Frances Conroy from The Power Of The Dog | Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Sam Elliott Apologizes for his comments about ‘The Power of the Dog’

While promoting his work in 1883 during Deadline’s Contenders TV, Elliott apologized for his previous comments about The Power of the Dog.

“…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,” said Elliott. “And in particular Benedict Cumberbatch. I can only say that I’m sorry and I am. I am.”

Elliott admitted that he “wasn’t very articulate” while sharing his opinions about the film and apologized to the people he “hurt.”

“And I said some things that hurt people and I feel terrible about that,” said Elliott.

Elliott highlighted one community in particular while making his apology.

“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,” said Elliott. Friends on every level and every job description up until today. I’m sorry I hurt any of those friends and someone that I loved. And anyone else by the words that I used.”

RELATED: Director Jane Campion Calls Sam Elliott ‘A Little Bit of a B****’ for Slamming ‘The Power of the Dog’