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Once again, Yellowstone fans argue about its most controversial scenes

Yellowstone fans are arguing about life on the ranch, disagreeing about writer Taylor Sheridan's most controversial scenes. Get off the saddle and check it out.

Kelly Reilly as Beth Dutton in Yellowstone

Yellowstone has one of the largest fanbases in the world, as arguably the biggest and best TV series around right now. Beginning back in 2018, the best Western series around kicked off the sprawling story of the Dutton family, led by Kevin Costner’s John Dutton, as they attempt to protect and conserve their famous Yellowstone ranch by any means necessary.

It’s brutal and gritty, with more murder and corruption than anyone might have expected. But, it can also be tender, and the Yellowstone cast (Kelly Reilly and Cole Hauser in particular) does an excellent job of selling the quieter moments, be it of romance or bonding between grandfather and grandson.

In Yellowstone’s quest to depict the reality of ranch life, there’s also a lot of sex and nudity. Unsurprisingly, these have often been the most controversial moments in the show and Sheridan’s approach to portraying his female characters has come under scrutiny, with Yellowstone fans arguing both sides of the case.

Now, that argument has started once again, on Reddit. A post simply titled ‘Sex scenes’ kicked it all off, with user JacqAttacq89 igniting the conversation with their own opinion.

“I LOVE this show,” started the post, “but every time the women come onto the men in ridiculous ways I can’t help but think, oh yeah, this is totally written by a man. This show depicts the male fantasy where all the women are coming onto the men all the time. Even when paralyzed in the hospital, [a] beautiful girl has sex with you in the bed,”

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The post concluded, “Again I love the show, but the sex seems [unrealistic] to me,” and the debate began, leading to 215 comments. One user agreed, saying, “No, you’re not a prude. It is quite obvious. Taylor really struggles to write well rounded stand on their own women characters. Even his beloved Beth has moments.”

On the counter, defending Sheridan’s writing, one commenter said, “A man also wrote the character of Beth Dutton and she’s one of the best characters male or female I’ve ever seen,” while others complained of their fellow fans’ “prudishness.”

The reason the sex scenes and general portrayal of women in Yellowstone generates such a strong response is because it is a complex topic. First, the show is a fiction with a heightened sense of drama, and the use of sex and relationships within the show feeds into that.

On the flipside, in the first season alone there are multiple instances of female nudity, scenes at strip clubs, and lingering shots on women undressing. Needless to say, the male characters don’t get the same treatment, creating a distinct imbalance.

Sheridan’s goal with Yellowstone was to accurately portray neo-Western ranch life, and sexual relationships are obviously a part of that. What fans will no doubt continue to debate long into the future, though, is how the show frames this, especially in relation to its women.

For more on Yellowstone, check out our guide to the Yellowstone season 5 part 2 release date and find out why it just got a promising update. Or, shift onto the spin-offs with our guides on when to expect the 6666 release date, and everything we know about 1923 season 2. You can also take a look at our explainer on the vast Yellowstone timeline.