Yellowstone Creator Taylor Sheridan Walks Back Anti-Trump Remarks
Yellowstone, the gritty Western drama that has spawned multiple spinoffs and proven a huge ratings win for Paramount, is going from strength to strength—thanks in part, some media pundits say, to a largely conservative viewership. And in a recent profile with The Atlantic, series creator Taylor Sheridan appeared to retract an anti-Trump comment he had previously made, in what has been interpreted as an effort to hold on to that audience.
In 2017, while promoting his film Wind River, Sheridan referred to the then-president in an interview, saying: “Can we just impeach that motherf***er right now?” When asked about his words now, Sheridan claims not to remember saying it, blaming the long hours and exhaustion of a press junket, but offering no further clarification.
“Having built an audience in places where a ‘stand your ground’ worldview holds sway, Paramount seems keen not to offend or alienate it,” writes Sridhar Pappu, citing Yellowstone‘s “mishmash of generally anti-capitalist, anti-modernist populism; pro-rancher libertarianism; conservative environmentalism.”
However, Sheridan also denies claims that Yellowstone and its prequels are overtly conservative stories simply because guns, horses, and depictions of “traditional” masculinity abound, and states that his intention is to deliver “responsible storytelling” to viewers.
“They refer to it as ‘the conservative show’ or ‘the Republican show’ or ‘the red-state Game of Thrones,'” he said. “And I just sit back laughing. I’m like, ‘Really?’ The show’s talking about the displacement of Native Americans and the way Native American women were treated and about corporate greed and the gentrification of the West, and land-grabbing. That’s a red-state show?”
Yellowstone Season 5 begins streaming on Paramount+ on November 14.
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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