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Yellowstone Star Shares Candid Thoughts on Show’s Incorrect Conservative Label

Yellowstone Star Shares Candid Thoughts on Show's Incorrect Conservative Label


  • Luke Grimes disputes
    ‘s conservative label, emphasizing that the show’s Western setting doesn’t determine its political ideology.
  • Fans criticized
    for being “woke” after a brief same-sex kiss scene, but creator Taylor Sheridan tackles various social themes.
  • Kevin Costner’s departure from
    due to creative differences could change the show’s direction, leaving fans hopeful for his return.

Luke Grimes, who stars as Kayce Dutton in Yellowstone, is pushing back against perceptions of the show’s political agenda. Since its debut in 2018, Yellowstone has been labeled as having conservative leanings, a notion series creator Taylor Sheridan has previously rejected, stating the show isn’t inherently conservative or a “red-state Game of Thrones” (as it was coined). Now, Grimes echoes this sentiment, arguing that viewers shouldn’t equate the show’s Western setting with a specific political ideology.

During a recent interview with The Independent, Grimes shared:

“I think a lot of people see a cowboy hat and a horse and they think, ‘Oh, that’s not for me, those people believe differently.’ And it’s almost like they take these flawed characters in the show and chalk it up to some sort of weird belief that they’ve put on them. Meanwhile, you can have a terrible person like [
’s] Logan Roy, who lives in an apartment in Manhattan, and that’s fine. That guy’s a total piece of s***! But that’s OK. It’s so funny to me because… I just don’t understand why that has to immediately equal some political belief. And I don’t think it does.”

Yellowstone has amassed a devoted fan base since its 2018 premiere. But that’s not to say that the show’s more conservative audiences have always been happy with the series’ decisions. Early last year, some viewers took to social media to slam the series for going “woke” after Dutton’s assistant, Clara Brewer (Lilli Kay) was briefly seen kissing a woman at the county fair. Sheridan has previously disputed the series’ conservative labels, emphasizing that Yellowstone tackles themes including the struggles of Native Americans, the effects of gentrification, and the dangers of corporate greed.


The Clint Eastwood Western-Thriller That Inspired Taylor Sheridan to Create Yellowstone

Taylor Sheridan has created a sprawling universe with the Yellowstone franchise, and one of Clint Eastwood’s finest films helped inspire the series.

Luke Grimes on Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone Exit: “You Gotta Do What You Love”

Characters from Yellowstone with a custom background

In the same interview, Grimes addressed Kevin Costner’s Yellowstone departure. While reports have mentioned scheduling conflicts and creative and financial disputes as the reason for Costner’s exit, Grimes offered a more empathetic perspective.

“Whatever happened there is unfortunate if it’s changed anything about how the show was going to unfold. I know, [Costner] got busy with his movies that were like passion projects. At a certain point, you gotta do what you gotta do, man; you gotta do what you love.”

Costner’s passion project is his directorial effort Horizon: An American Saga, a four-part post-Civil War epic, which will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month. Along with directing, Costner co-wrote alongside Jon Baird.



Release Date
June 20, 2018



John Linson, Taylor Sheridan

Yellowstone‘s final episodes begin filming next month, and are scheduled premiere in November. How the series will handle Costner’s absence remains to be seen, but fans remain hopeful that Costner will make an appearance when Yellowstone returns. And, it seems like not all hope is lost that we’ll see more of John Dutton, as Costner recently shared that he’d “like to be able to do it, but we haven’t been able to,” adding:

“I thought I was going to make seven [seasons] but right now we’re at five. So how it works out — I hope it does — but they’ve got a lot of different shows going on. Maybe it will. Maybe this will circle back to me. If it does and I feel really comfortable with [it], I’d love to do it.”

Grimes will next appear in A24’s Eddington alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Pedro Pascal, Emma Stone and Austin Butler, with Ari Aster directing.

stars Costner, Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, and Cole Hauser. It is available to stream on Paramount+.

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