Taylor Sheridan maintains an intriguing level of mystery that feels unheard of in Hollywood, especially since he oversees a not-insignificant media empire and appears in many of the things he creates. But when a journalist got too close to uncovering his politics for a recent profile, he got pushback from Sheridan himself and the larger Paramount apparatus. Maintaining that “Yellowstone” and the small suite of sister projects and spin-offs are firmly Republican is, apparently, a top priority.
To explain: writer Sridhar Pappu profiled Sheridan for The Atlantic (Sheridan’s flagship series “Yellowstone” returns to the Paramount Network this weekend on the same day that his terrific new series “Tulsa King” debuts on Paramount+), and he was curious about Sheridan and his series’ relationship to its fanbase. (“Yellowstone” star Kevin Costner got considerable pushback online for, of all things, wearing a T-shirt that supported Liz Cheney.) Pappu brought up a 2017 interview when Sheridan was promoting his film “Wind River” and wondered how President Trump hadn’t been impeached yet (“Can we just impeach that motherf—er right now?”)
Sheridan told Pappu that he didn’t remember the quote (“I don’t recall that”) and blamed it on being at Cannes (which he wasn’t) and being extremely exhausted from the demands of all-day press junkets. But this isn’t the end!
The day after Pappu asked Sheridan the question, the writer got a flurry of texts from Paramount. David Glasser, the CEO of Sheridan’s 101 Studios, was “upset.” So were Paramount publicists and various studio executives. They threatened to pull a visit to the “Yellowstone” set, but he ultimately made the trip anyway.
Pappu also brought up comments Sheridan made in 2018 about “white privilege” (this time to Esquire) – “Help me, Mr. Harvard-fucking-Ph.D., convince the man who’s losing his ranch, who can’t afford his kid’s college—he has no health care, he has no fucking clue what Obamacare is, he’s never seen a social-security-fucking-office, his only concept of federal government is taxes. How do I convince that guy he’s privileged? You won’t do it.” (Pappu posits that it’s this remark that is key to decoding Sheridan’s innate popularity.)
Sheridan was more open to discussing this remark saying that he meant that “you should be mindful of not berating the subject you are trying to educate and find a way for them to digest your point of view without turning them off to it.”