‘Yellowstone’ Creator Taylor Sheridan Comments on the Show Being ‘Anti-Woke’
Yellowstone has been touted in some quarters as a conservative, "anti-woke" television show, but don't tell that to its creator. In a new interview, Yellowstone's co-creator and writer, Taylor Sheridan, laughs off the notion that the hit modern Western caters to a conservative point of view.
Why Hasn't Yellowstone Won Any Emmy Awards?
Yellowstone has mushroomed into an enormous hit since it debuted in 2018, becoming the most-watched show on cable television in its fourth season in 2021. Season 5 premiered on Nov. 13, delivering the highest ratings in the show's history, but despite its popularity and a stellar cast led by Oscar winner Kevin Costner, Yellowstone has attracted virtually no industry accolades, notably not earning a single Emmy nomination during its run.
The Daily Mail attributed that to the show being "anti-woke," while a Substack article calls Yellowstone "the most anti-woke show in existence" due to its violence, traditional views of masculinity and more. Even the ultra-right-leaning Breitbart has touted the show's "avoidance of woke politics and progressive moralizing," but Sheridan tells the Atlantic that he finds those assessments comical.
Is Yellowstone a Conservative, "Anti-Woke" Show?
“They refer to it as ‘the conservative show’ or ‘the Republican show’ or ‘the red-state Game of Thrones.' And I just sit back laughing," he states. "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?”
Sheridan says that instead of espousing any one political set of values, the guiding principle of Yellowstone is "responsible storytelling." Taking his cue from Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, he says, "When I stepped into that world, I wanted there to be real consequences. I wanted to never, ever shy away from, This was the price.”
What Are Taylor Sheridan's Political Views?
In an interview with CNS News in 2016, Sheridan said he actively avoids promoting a political point of view in his work.
"For me as a storyteller, which is a great responsibility to an audience, you know someone is going to give you their time and their money to be entertained and possibly enlightened in some way, for me to try and impart my politics on them is, I think, arrogant and patronizing," he observed. "I feel like if an audience can ever get a sense of my politics I have really failed them. I show sides of a coin. I show sides of a coin, both of them, and everyone else can make their own conclusions."