WATCH: Sam Elliott Gives Emotional Apology for Comments He Made About ‘The Power of the Dog’

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Deadline Hollywood )

Last month, 1883 star Sam Elliott set the internet ablaze with his scathing review of the new Netflix western The Power of the Dog. To say he was a little harsh in his comments would be an understatement, calling the movie a “piece of s–t” and criticizing both the director and the movie’s underlying themes.

At this year’s Deadline Contenders, however, Sam Elliott retracted his review of The Power of the Dog and gave a heartfelt apology. He even admitted that he should have never gone on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast in the first place.

When asked about his review of The Power of the Dog during an 1883 panel, Sam Elliott said, “First, don’t do a podcast whose call letters are WTF“. This earned a laugh from the interviewers, but then Elliott adopted a more sincere tone.

Sam Elliott began his apology by saying, “[The Power of the Dog] struck a chord with me. And in trying to tell the WTF guy how I felt about the film, I wasn’t very articulate about it. I didn’t articulate it very well, I said some things that hurt people, and I feel terrible about that.”

“I also told this WTF podcaster that 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,” Sam Elliott said. “And, in particular, Benedict Cumberbatch.”

Sam Elliott Apologizes to the Gay Community for ‘The Power of the Dog’ Comments

A large part of Sam Elliott’s antagonistic review of The Power of the Dog featured comments about the “allusions of homosexuality throughout the f—ing movie”. As such, Elliott felt that he owed the entire gay community an apology as well.

“The gay community has been incredible to me my entire career,” Elliott said. “And I mean my entire career, from before I got started in this town. Friends on every level, in every job description…up until today with my agent, my dear friend of a number of years. I’m sorry that I hurt any of those friends and someone that I love, and anyone else, by the words that I used.”

“I can only say that I’m sorry,” Sam Elliott concluded. “And I am, I am.”

Though there’s no question that the comments made by Sam Elliott about The Power of the Dog were hurtful, he cowboyed up and gave a sincere apology. As the Deadline host said, every now and then, a cowboy falls off his horse. And with the stellar reviews on his character from his co-stars, it’s safe to say that his Power of the Dog comments fall into that category.