Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos Speaks Out About Sam Elliott’s ‘Power of the Dog’ Criticisms at 2022 Oscars

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner)

Since Sam Elliott first came out with his brutally honest opinion of Power of the Dog, a verbal feud has ensued with the film’s director, Jane Campion. Now, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has weighed in on the situation.

Power of the Dog premiered on Netflix on November 16, 2021, and has won several awards. But if you ask Elliott, he probably wasn’t crossing his fingers for them at the Oscars on Sunday.

During an interview earlier this month, Elliott unleashed his true thoughts about the New Zealand-based Western. To say the comments caused controversy is putting it lightly. At the 2022 Oscars, Sarandos finally shared his viewpoint of the standoff. While the Netflix co-CEO didn’t agree with Sam Elliott’s comments, he also didn’t condone the actor.

“Look, people sit down and do a long interview,” Sarandos told Variety. “As you know, you get a little relaxed and say something off the cuff. Nothing is off the cuff anymore. I love Sam. He’s a good guy. It was an unusual comment though, for sure.”

Why Fans Want to Know Netflix Co-CEO Sarandos’ Stance on Sam Elliott’s Criticisms

Sarandos’s stance is particularly important to Power of the Dog fans that sympathized with Campion’s side of the argument. After all, the Netflix co-CEO was partly in charge of who the streaming service featured. Sam Elliott appears in works like The Ranch and Did You Hear About the Morgans? among others. So, fans want to know if the company’s top brass stands by Elliott’s statements.

Here’s what Elliott first had to say about Power of the Dog.

“What the f— does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American west? And why in the f— does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, ‘This is the way it is.’ That f—ing rubbed me the wrong way, pal,” Elliott said during his appearance on the podcast, WTF with Marc Maron.

He also added, “[The cowboys] are all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions to homosexuality throughout the f—ing movie.”

Since then, Campion has shared her own scathing comments about Elliott, too.

“He was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H. He’s not a cowboy; he’s an actor,” Campion told Variety before the DGA Awards on Saturday night. “The West is a mythic space and there’s a lot of room on the range. I think it’s a little bit sexist.”

Both Elliott and Campion clearly have different viewpoints on what constitutes a Western. Elliott seems to represent the classic definition of cowboy films while Campion takes a more modern approach. For now, it seems the Netflix co-CEOs will be keeping a neutral stance on the situation.