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Jane Campion Barks Back at Sam Elliott Over The Power of the Dog

Jane Campion Barks Back at Sam Elliott Over The Power of the Dog

Jane Campion

"He’s not a cowboy; he’s an actor.”

The Power of the Dog keeps on picking up awards -- and director Jane Campion is speaking out on its haters.

Before Saturday night's Directors Guild of America Awards, where Power of the Dog won the marquee Theatrical Feature Film prize, solidifying director Jane Campion's status as an Oscar frontrunner, Campion also responded to some recent criticism of her film from popular Western actor Sam Elliott.

"I'm sorry, he was being a little bit of a B-I-T-C-H. He's not a cowboy; he's an actor," Campion said to Variety before the ceremony. "The West is a mythic space and there's a lot of room on the range. I think it's a little bit sexist."

Campion was responding to recent remarks the veteran actor made on Marc Maron's WTF podcast. Elliott had called the movie "a piece of shit," saying that there was no "Western in this Western."

Elliott also criticized the movie for it's "allusions to homosexuality throughout the f***ing movie" and said that the cowboys looked more like Chippendales dancers than cowboys "running around in chaps and no shirts."

He also attacked Campion herself, saying she wasn't fit to direct a Western. "What the fuck does this woman -- she's a brilliant director, by the way, I love her work, previous work -- but what the fuck does this woman from down there, New Zealand, know about the American West? And why in the fuck does she shoot this movie in New Zealand and call it Montana and say, 'This is the way it was.' That fucking rubbed me the wrong way, pal."

Campion countered that, in her opinion, the Western genre is a diverse one. "When you think about the number of amazing Westerns made in Spain by Sergio Leone," she said. "I consider myself a creator. I think he thinks of me as a woman or something lesser first, and I don't appreciate that."

Campion couldn't keep that positive energy however, as she also drew criticism for statements she made while accepting a Critics Choice Award for her film this weekend. Campion started off her speech praising all the incredible women in the room with her, pointing to Halle Berry, and then to Venus and Serena Williams, the subjects of the film King Richard.

"What an honor to be in the room with you," Campion said, adding, "I've taken up tennis -- I truly have -- and Will [Smith], if you want to come over and give me lessons, I would truly love it. I actually had to stop playing because I've got tennis elbow."

She didn't stop there. "Venus and Serena, you're such marvels," she continued. "However, you don't play against the guys, like I have too."

The comment has drawn both cheers and criticism, as the Williams sisters are definitely good enough to beat many men, and there's no reason to pit the sisters against directors like Campion in the first place. There's enough room to celebrate both.

The Power of the Dog now goes into the Oscars as a pretty clear frontrunner. We'll see which awards the film picks up on March 27 when the Academy Awards are held.

RELATED | Benedict Cumberbatch Fires Back at Sam Elliott Over The Power of the Dog

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