Taylor Sheridan is dismissing the notion that his series Yellowstone falls into easy political categorization.
During a recent interview with The Atlantic, Sheridan addressed claims that the popular Paramount Network drama is geared toward politically conservative viewers. The publication cites New York Times columnist Ross Douthat having referred to the Kevin Costner-fronted series as “the most red-state show on television,” along with Daily Mail having suggested that Yellowstone is too “anti-woke” to win awards.
“They refer to it as ‘the conservative show’ or ‘the Republican show’ or ‘the red-state Game of Thrones,’” Sheridan said ahead of the season five premiere for the show that focuses on the Dutton family’s ranch. “And I just sit back laughing. I’m like, ‘Really?’”
The prolific television producer continued, “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?”
With its impressive ratings, Yellowstone was considered to be among the most surprising 2022 Emmys snubs when it failed to land a single nomination. Its lone nom throughout the course of its run thus far was for production design in 2021.
In a column reacting to the lack of Emmy nominations for the show, The Hollywood Reporter chief television critic Daniel Fienberg said there was no truth to any assumption that TV Academy voters are too “woke” to appreciate the series.
“The argument that Yellowstone and shows of its ilk are discriminated against because of ideology is based on this peculiar insinuation that Taylor Sheridan and George Will are coffee-drinking companions,” he wrote. “Instead, Yellowstone is just a somewhat centrist drama in a genre that has traditionally leaned very slightly to the right. If TV shows could vote, Yellowstone and Emmy favorite (and, according to Netflix, massive hit) Ozark would probably support the same candidates.”
Yellowstone’s season five premiere airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on Paramount Network.