Taylor Sheridan, the creator of the hit drama series Yellowstone, has responded to the various criticisms about the show being a conservative or “red-state” series. Speaking with The Atlantic, Sheridan clarified how it’s a misinterpretation and that the American neo-Western drama is anything but a vehicle for the Republican party.
“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 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,” Sheridan explained. “That’s a red-state show?”
If you aren’t familiar with Yellowstone, the TV series tells the story of the Dutton family as they deal with conflicts surrounding their cattle ranch and land disputes between a Native American Reservation and land developers. The show is widely popular, with season 4 bringing in 12.7 million viewers.
So as we move into Yellowstone season 5, it is easy to see how its popularity can be compared to the likes of the hit fantasy series Game of Thrones. But, as Sheridan states, to label it as a “red-state show” is an oversimplification of the messages carried through its plot.
Sheridan went on to state his commitment to “responsible storytelling”, “to depict the moral consequences of certain behaviours and decisions.” Within Yellowstone, he is also the mind behind prequel series 1883, spin-off show 1923 – which will focus on a new generation of the Dutton Family during the Great Depression – and the upcoming Yellowstone 6666.