‘Power of the Dog’ Director Jane Campion Blasts Sam Elliott: ‘Homophobic,’ ‘Little Bit of a ‘B*tch’

(INSET: Sam Elliott) Director and writer Jane Campion attends the screening and talk for Netflix’s “The Power of the Dog” at BFI Southbank on March 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty, Lionsgate

Director Jane Campion has replied to actor Sam Elliott’s criticism of her western film, The Power of the Dog, blasting him for “misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia.”

At the end of February, Elliott divulged his extreme distaste for Campion’s Netflix western, calling the modernistic, woke western a “piece of sh*t.”

The film features Benedict Cumberbatch as a rancher — clearly repressing his homosexuality — who spins into rage when his brother (Jesse Plemons) brings his wife (Kirsten Dunst) and son to live on the ranch.

Despite Elliott’s criticism, Campion’s film has since become a darling of the Hollywood set by earning 12 Oscar nominations, including nods for best picture and director.

Speaking to Deadline on Saturday, Campion took a few shots at Elliott for his criticism of her film.

“I think it’s really unfortunate and sad for him,” Campion said of Elliott, “because he’s really hit the trifecta of misogyny and xenophobia and homophobia. I don’t like that. I think he was being a little bit of a b-i-t-c-h. Plus he’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor.”

She then riffed further on the “just an actor” snipe by adding, “When [Elliott] gets out of hair and makeup, I’ll meet him down at the OK Corral on the set with Doctor Strange, and we will shoot it out.”

She also insisted that there is plenty of room for traditional westerns, like those Elliott touts, and her more woke stories. “Look, the West is a mythic space, and there’s plenty of room on the range,” she said.

The argument began when Elliott, the star of the Paramount+ series 1883, and long-time actor in westerns, appeared on Marc Maron’s “WTF Podcast” and was asked what he thought about the Netflix film starring Benedict Cumberbatch directed by the New Zealand-born Campion.

Elliott replied “F*ck no,” when asked if he liked the Campion film. He went on to explain that the film is an “evisceration of the American myth” because of the film’s deep homosexual underpinnings.

“That’s what all these fucking cowboys in that movie look like,” Elliott added. “They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the fucking movie.”

Elliott also blasted the film for ignoring the fact that families made the west, not just raging men.

“The myth is that they were these macho men out there with the cattle. I just come from fucking Texas where I was hanging out with families, not men, but families, big, long, extended, multiple-generation families… and their lives were all about being cowboys,” he said.

For his part, Benedict Cumberbatch reportedly said that Elliott’s comments were “odd.” And Cumberbatch’s co-star, Jesse Plemons, said he got a laugh out of Elliott’s criticism.

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