Last week on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, actor Sam Elliott called The Power of the Dog a “piece of sh*t” for its “allusions of homosexuality.” He was particularly upset by how the male characters, including Benedict Cumberbatch’s Phil Burbank, were dressed. “Where’s the Western in this Western?” he complained. “I mean, Cumberbatch never got out of his fucking chaps. He had two pairs of chaps — a woolly pair and a leather pair. And every fucking time he would walk in from somewhere — he never was on a horse, maybe once — he’d walk into the fucking house, storm up the fucking stairs, go lay in his bed in his chaps, and play his banjo. It’s like, what the f*ck?”
I like Sam Elliott but someone probably needs to remind him he's an actor from Sacramento who lives in Malibu, not an actual cowboy
— stuart (Lenten posting fast) (@punished_stu) March 1, 2022
Anyway, Cumberbatch indirectly responded to Elliott’s comments during a recent BAFTA Film Sessions interview. “Someone really took offense to – I haven’t heard it so it’s unfair for me to comment in detail on it – to the West being portrayed in this way,” he said. “Beyond that reaction, that sort of denial that anybody could have any other than a heteronormative existence because of what they do for a living or where they’re born, there’s also a massive intolerance within the world at large towards homosexuality still and towards an acceptance of the other and anything kind of difference.” He continued:
“This is a very specific case of repression, but also due to an intolerance for that true identity that Phil is that he can’t fully be. The more we look under the hood of toxic masculinity and try to discover the root causes of it, the bigger chances we have of dealing with it when it arises with our children.”
Benedict Cumberbatch: the “anchor” of the MCU and common sense.
The Power of the Dog is up for 12 Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Jane Campion, Best Actor for Cumberbatch, Best Supporting Actress for Kirsten Dunst, and Best Supporting Actor for Jesse Plemons and Kodi Smit-McPhee.