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Jane Campion calls Sam Elliott ‘a bit of a bitch’ for his anti- Power of the Dog rant at DGA Awards

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Jane Campion seemingly won twice at the Saturday’s 2022 Directors Guild of America Awards — first when she took home the DGA’s top annual prize for her direction of The Power of the Dog, and again when she called 1883 actor Sam Elliott “a bit of a bitch” for what many have called misogynistic and homophobic comments directed at her 12-time Oscar-nominated western.

“I’m sorry, he was being a little bit of a b-i-t-c-h, and, I’m sorry to say it, he’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor,” Campion said on the DGA Awards red carpet, before she took home the prize for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Film for the Netflix psychological drama. “The West is a myth exposed. There’s a lot of room on the range. I think it’s a little bit sexist, because you think about the number of amazing westerns that were made in Spain by Sergio Leone. I consider myself a creator and I think he sees me a woman or something lesser first, and I don’t appreciate that.”

Campion’s response comes after Elliott appeared on an episode of the WTF With Marc Maron podcast in February, and criticized The Power of the Dog‘s “allusions to homosexuality” and compared characters played by Benedict Cumberbatch — who also spoke out against Elliott’s comments — and Kodi Smit-McPhee to Chippendales dancers “running around in chaps and no shirts.” He also questioned Campion’s qualifications to helm a movie set in the American West, as the history-making Oscar nominee and Cannes Palme d’Or winner is from New Zealand, not the United States.

The 67-year-old added to her massive haul of awards at Saturday night’s event, as the most influential directors in the industry helmed a winning narrative for her — and other key contenders in the ongoing awards race — ahead of the March 27 Oscars. Campion earned the top prize for Dog, while Maggie Gyllenhaal won in the First-Time Feature category for helming The Lost Daughter, also for Netflix.

Winner of the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film award for 'The Power of the Dog' Jane Campion poses in the press room during the 74th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at The Beverly Hilton on March 12, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.

Winner of the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature Film award for ‘The Power of the Dog’ Jane Campion poses in the press room during the 74th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at The Beverly Hilton on March 12, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.

Jesse Grant/Getty Jane Campion called Sam Elliott ‘a bit of a bitch’ on the 2022 DGA Awards red carpet

On the television side, Succession‘s Mark Mylod won for directing the HBO show’s “All the Bells Say” episode, among a category populated entirely by fellow helmers of the project’s third season, who took up all five of the DGA’s Drama Series nomination slots. Among Comedy Series contenders, Lucia Aniello won for directing the Hacks episode “There Is No Line,” while Barry Jenkins won for his work in directing the limited drama series The Underground Railroad.

Voted on by thousands of members within the industry union, when it comes to the overall awards race, the DGA is often considered a reliable Oscar predictor, and this year continued the upward trajectory of major Academy Awards contenders with nominees like Campion, Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), Steven Spielberg (West Side Story), and Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza). Between them, the groups share four nominees this year, with Oscar nominee Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car) swapping in for DGA nominee Denis Villeneuve (Dune) among the Oscars’ bracket.

With heavy crossover membership with AMPAS’ directing branch, the DGA holds influence on the trail alongside the PGA and the Screen Actors Guild as the largest industry unions funneling voting ranks into the Academy. Across the last 20 years, only four DGA winners — Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Rob Marshall (Chicago), Ben Affleck (Argo), and last year’s Sam Mendes (1917) — failed to translate their DGA victories into Best Director Oscar wins.

Last year, Nomadland‘s Chloe Zhao — who presented Campion with her prize at the 2022 ceremony — made history as the first Asian woman to win the DGA’s top prize as well as the Academy’s Best Director prize. Kathryn Bigelow — the first woman to win Best Director at the Oscars for her work on The Hurt Locker — also scored a DGA nomination in 2022 for her work helming the Hollywood in Your Pocket commercial for the iPhone 13, though she lost in the category to Bradford Young’s Channel 4 spot “Super. Human.”

See the full list of 2022 DGA Awards winners below.

FILM NOMINEES

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Film

Paul Thomas Anderon, Licorice Pizza
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
WINNER: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story
Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film Director

WINNER: Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
Rebecca Hall, Passing
Tatiana Huezo, Prayers for the Stolen
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tick, Tick… Boom!
Michael Sarnoski, Pig
Emma Seligman, Shiva Baby

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary

Jessica Kingdom, Ascension
WINNER: Stanley Nelson, Attica
Raoul Peck, Exterminate All the Brutes
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Summer of Soul
Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, The Rescue

TELEVISION NOMINEES

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series

Kevin Bray, Succession (“Retired Janitors of Idaho”)
WINNER: Mark Mylod, Succession (“All the Bells Say”)
Andrij Parekh, Succession (“What It Takes”)
Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman, Succession (“Lion in the Meadow”)
Lorene Scafaria, Succession (“Too Much Birthday”)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series

WINNER: Lucia Aniello, Hacks (“There Is No Line”)
MJ Delaney, Ted Lasso (“No Weddings and a Funeral”)
Erica Dunton, Ted Lasso (“Rainbow”)
Sam Jones, Ted Lasso (“Beard After Hours”)
Mike White, The White Lotus (“Mysterious Monkeys”)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited Series

WINNER: Barry Jenkins, The Underground Railroad
Barry Levinson, Dopesick (“First Bottle”)
Hiro Murai, Station Eleven (“Wheel of Fire”)
Danny Strong, Dopesick (“The People vs. Purdue Pharma”)
Craig Zobel, Mare of Easttown

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled Programming

Paul G. Casey, Real Time With Bill Maher (“Episode 1935”)
Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (“Episode 1105”)
WINNER: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (“Keegan-Michael Key; Olivia Rodrigo”)
David Paul Meyer, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (“Episode 26112”)
Paul Pennolino and Christopher Werner, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (“Episode 830”)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials

Ian Berger, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah Presents (“Jordan Klepper Fingers the Pulse — Into the Megaverse”)
Bo Burnham, Bo Burnham: Inside
WINNER: Paul Dugdale, Adele: One Night Only
Stan Lathan, Dave Chappelle: The Closer
Glenn P. Weiss, The 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs

Joseph Guidry, Full Bloom (“Final Floral Face Off”)
Patrick McManus, American Ninja Warrior (“1304”)
Ramy Romany, Making the Cut (“Brand Statement”)
Ben Simms, Running Wild With Bear Grylls (“Gina Carano in the Dolomites”)
WINNER: Adam Vetri, Getaway Driver (“Electric Shock”)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs

James Bobin, The Mysterious Benedict Society (“A Bunch of Smart Orphans”)
Michael Lembeck, The J Team
Phill Lewis, Head of the Class (“Three More Years”)
WINNER: Smriti Mundhra, Through Our Eyes (“Shelter”)
Jeff Wadlow, Are You Afraid of the Dark? (“The Tale of the Darkhouse”)

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials

Steve Ayson, Anthem (Mattress Firm — Droga5)
Kathryn Bigelow, Hollywood in Your Pocket (iPhone 13)
Ian Pons Jewell, ECG (Apple Watch), Sleep (Apple Watch), Time (Squarespace), Your Mom’s Short Ribs (Instacart)
Henry-Alex Rubin, Teenage Dream (Sandy Hook Promise)
WINNER: Bradford Young, Super. Human. (Channel 4 Paralympics)

Check out more from EW’s The Awardist, featuring Oscars analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year’s movies and performances.

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