Yellowstone director shoots down ‘red-state show’ descriptor

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This image released by Paramount Network shows Kevin Costner in a scene from Yellowstone. (Paramount Network via AP)

Yellowstone director shoots down ‘red-state show’ descriptor

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Yellowstone director Taylor Sheridan went on the record to denounce the view that his hit television series is a “red-state show.”

Sheridan addressed the show’s lack of critical acclaim during an interview with the Atlantic. Despite its popularity, the show hasn’t been nominated for a single Emmy since its start in 2018, leading the Daily Mail to publish a report on the Hollywood snub while noting critics view it as boasting an “anti-woke” message. Ross Douthat, a conservative for the New York Times, called Yellowstone “the most red-state show on television.”

“They refer to it as ‘the conservative show’ or ‘the Republican show’ or ‘the red-state Game of Thrones,’ ” Sheridan 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?”

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Yellowstone’s season four finale on the Paramount Network in January drew 9.3 million live and same-day viewers after receiving 8 million viewers for its premiere, becoming the most-watched telecast since The Walking Dead season 8 premiere in 2017, according to Deadline.

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Sheridan credits the show’s popularity to his “responsible storytelling,” inspired by Clint Eastwood’s 1992 film Unforgiven. That film, like Sheridan’s series, featured masculine cowboy characters and a protagonist who was a “drunken, vicious killer.”

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