News and Analysis

Sam Elliott Critics Forgot How He Enjoyed Quintessential Gay Cowboy Movie ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ Calling It ‘A Beautiful Film’
Sam Elliott
Vincent Sandoval/Getty Images

Detractors would love to believe that actor Sam Elliott is a raging homophobe following his epic rant on Marc Maron’s “WTF Podcast.” The actor received a lot of criticism for eviscerating the Oscar-nominated Western film, “The Power of the Dog,” calling the movie a “piece of s***.”

Elliott specifically mentioned during his rant that themes of classic masculinity that used to be prevalent in Westerns are all but gone now. Critics, however, are saying the 77-year-old actor is just a big homophobe who felt uncomfortable with the homosexual themes present in “The Power of the Dog.” 

In the past, Elliott was perfectly fine with another movie that included a same-sex couple in the storyline. Some supporters are pointing out the actor’s review of the cult classic movie “Brokeback Mountain” starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. 

“I didn’t really get what all the to-do was about. It is a beautiful film and I was thrilled for Ang [Lee], but it isn’t a Western,” Elliott said of the movie during a 2006 interview with writer Scott Holleran.

“For one thing, it’s about a couple of sheepherders, not cattlemen. The whole homosexual thing was interesting—they stepped over the line—but [my wife] Katharine and I both looked at it and thought, ‘what’s the big deal?’”

When asked if it “denigrated” cowboys, Elliott replied: “I do not think it’s anti-cowboy. I have tremendous respect for Ang as a filmmaker.”

Meanwhile, Elliott’s rant on “WTF” seemed more focused on the general state of masculinity in culture than it does on homosexual movie themes, even though he did touch on that topic as well. 

After complaining that “The Power of the Dog” director Jane Campion doesn’t know anything about the American West, Elliott said: “The myth is that there were these macho men out there with the cattle? I just came from Texas where I was hanging out with families — not men — but families. Big, long, extended, multiple-generation families that made their living and their lives were all about being cowboys. And, boy, when I f***ing saw that, I thought, ‘What the f***? Where are we in this world today?’”

Hollywood veteran Elliott, who has been nominated for an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, said his opinions of “The Power of the Dog” ran deep.

He told Maron, “I take it personal. I take it f***ing personal, pal.”

The interview has set off a wave of criticisms, mostly directed at the actor for being “homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic,” to name a few. 

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

“Holy s*** do I like Sam Elliott a lot less now,” another said in response to the podcast interview.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Sam Elliott Critics Forgot How He Enjoyed Quintessential Gay Cowboy Movie ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ Calling It ‘A Beautiful Film’