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Star of movie Sam Elliott ripped for 'allusions of homosexuality' says Elliott's take was 'very odd,' speaks of 'toxic masculinity' in defending film

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Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images (left); Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images (right)

After actor Sam Elliott made headlines last week by blasting "allusions of homosexuality" in "piece of s**t" movie "The Power of the Dog," Benedict Cumberbatch — the star of the movie in question — called Elliott's take "very odd" and spoke of "toxic masculinity" and "intolerance" in defending the Oscar-nominated film.

What's the background?

Elliott — known for his Western roles in "Tombstone" and his present project "1883" — let loose with pointed, profane criticisms of "The Power of the Dog" during an interview on Marc Maron’s "WTF" podcast.

Consequence Film characterized director Jane Campion's effort as a "deconstructed Western" and Cumberbatch's character, Phil Burbank, as a "self-styled macho man whose insistence on presenting himself in the most manly way possible hides deep insecurities about his sexual identity."

After Maron asked Elliott his opinion of "The Power of the Dog," he replied, “You wanna talk about that piece of s**t?”

The 77-year-old brought up a Los Angeles Times ad for the movie containing a blurb that “talked about ‘the evisceration of the American myth.’ And I thought, What the f***? What the f***?"

Elliott then said the "f***ing cowboys" in the movie looked like Chippendales dancers: "They’re all running around in chaps and no shirts. There’s all these allusions of homosexuality throughout the f***ing movie.”

What did Cumberbatch have to say?

During BAFTA's Film Sessions on Friday, Cumberbatch discussed his repressed gay character in "The Power of the Dog" — and also addressed Elliott's statements, Digital Spy said.

"I'm trying very hard not to say anything about a very odd reaction that happened the other day on a radio podcast over here," he said, according to the outlet. "Without meaning to stir over the ashes of that ... 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."

Cumberbatch continued: "These people ... still exist in our world. Whether it's on our doorstep, or whether it's down the road, or whether it's someone we meet in a bar or pub or ... on the sports field, there is aggression and anger and frustration and an inability to control or know who you are in that moment that causes damage to that person and, as we know ... damage to others around them."

He also said "there's no harm in looking at a character to get to the root causes of that. 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," Digital Spy added.

Here are some of Elliott's words and Cumberbatch's reaction. Content warning: Language:

Benedict Cumberbatch Responds To Sam Elliott's Critique Of 'The Power Of The Dog' youtu.be

Anything else?

Leftists ripped into Elliott for his comments about "The Power of the Dog," with some remarking that similar themes were explored in the 2005 film "Brokeback Mountain" and how Elliott could not know that.

Except he did. In fact, Elliott said in regard to gay themes in "Brokeback Mountain" that the "whole homosexual thing was interesting — they stepped over the line — but [my wife] Katharine and I both looked at it and thought, ‘What’s the big deal?’”

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