“1883” actor Sam Elliott apologized Sunday for comments he made about Jane Campion’s acclaimed Western film “The Power of the Dog,” saying at a promotional event that he “wasn’t very articulate about it.”
“I said some things that hurt people and I feel terrible about that,” Elliott said in part at a Deadline panel event about the Paramount+ drama series “1883.”
In an interview on Marc Maron’s podcast “WTF” that aired last month, Elliott blasted Campion’s film, calling it a “piece of s—” and decrying what he characterized as “allusions to homosexuality throughout the f—— movie.”
He also questioned what a filmmaker from New Zealand would know about the American West, saying that the decision to shoot the film in that country “rubbed me the wrong way.”
“The Power of the Dog” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a closeted rancher in 1920s Montana. The film led the pack of contenders for the 94th Academy Awards, with 12 nods. Campion won the best director Oscar, making her only the third woman to earn that prize.
Elliott on Sunday publicly apologized to Campion, Cumberbatch and the gay community.
“I want to apologize to the cast of ‘The Power of the Dog,’ brilliant actors all, and in particular Benedict Cumberbatch,” Elliott said. “I can only say that I’m sorry and I am. I am.”
“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. Friends on every level and every job description up until today,” he said, according to a Deadline report about the event.
“I’m sorry I hurt any of those friends and someone that I loved, and anyone else by the words that I used,” he added.
Elliott’s comments drew scrutiny after his episode of “WTF” was released on Feb. 28. Campion called Elliott’s remarks “a little bit sexist.” Cumberbatch said the criticism as “very odd.”
NBC News has reached out to representatives for Campion and Cumberbatch for their comment on Elliott’s apology.
Elliott on Sunday jokingly reflected on what he learned from the experience: “Don’t do a podcast with the call letters WTF.”