'Yellowstone' star Piper Perabo says she doesn't 'always agree politically' with Taylor Sheridan, but defends the show against 'red-state' criticism: It's 'modern and diverse'
Piper Perabo said she and "Yellowstone" cocreator Taylor Sheridan don't see eye-to-eye politically.
But she told The Hollywood Reporter: "We fight for a lot more common things than we argue about."
Perabo is known for her environmental activism, like her character in the drama, Summer Higgins.
"Yellowstone" star Piper Perabo has weighed in on the conversation around whether the record-smashing Paramount Network drama is a "red-state show."
Perabo plays an environmental protester-turned-advisor to newly-elected governor John Dutton (Kevin Costner). Her character, Summer Higgins, has shaken things up on the ranch since her release from prison after being arrested for civil disobedience.
Like her character, Perabo is an outspoken activist herself and often uses her Twitter account as a platform to raise awareness about issues she cares about.
She has also been arrested for protesting Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 2018, and joining in on Jane Fonda's climate change protest on the Capitol's steps in 2019.
Meanwhile, "Yellowstone" has a reputation for being a right-leaning TV show thanks to its popularity in middle America. It focuses on a family of powerful fifth-generation Montana ranchers who express anti-progress sentiments.
The show's cocreator and writer, Taylor Sheridan, is reported to be the owner of his own ranch which is almost twice the size of Chicago in his native state of Texas, and maintains that he actively avoids promoting a political point of view in his work.
Responding to the suggestion that her vegan, left-leaning character has traded in her values and aligned herself with Dutton clan, Perabo told The Hollywood Reporter: "I don't really pay attention to it, because I'm not sure it's very useful for how to play Summer."
"But what I like about doing it is that Taylor and I don't always agree politically," she continued. "And through knowing each other socially and making this show, we realize that we fight for a lot more common things than we argue about."
Perabo went on to say that the way she and Sheridan have come to understand and respect each other's viewpoints is similar to what viewers have seen play out between Summer and John onscreen.
"I feel like that's happening with John and Summer, and I would hope we can have that happen in America," Perabo said.
The actor added that "as a person who is politically active and an activist, I want to find that common ground," and praised "Yellowstone" for doing the same.
"Some people see the show one way, and some the other. I think there are a lot of both sides in 'Yellowstone,'" Perabo noted. "Almost no show has as many Native American leads as 'Yellowstone' does, except for 'Reservation Dogs.' And to me, that's very cool and modern and diverse."
Sheridan previously pushed back against the notion that the drama — which aired its season five midseason finale on Sunday — is a right-leaning series in a profile in The Atlantic in November.
"They refer to it as 'the conservative show' or 'the Republican show' or 'the red-state Game of Thrones,'" 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 continued. "That's a red-state show?"
Prior to that, he contested the idea that "Yellowstone," or other projects that he's written or directed, are right-leaning.
"People perceive all my stuff as red state, and it's the most ridiculous thing," he told The New York Times. "If you truly look at this show or 'Wind River' or 'Sicario,' these are pretty wildly progressive notions. The people who are calling it a red-state show have probably never watched it."
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