Kevin Costner Calls Out ‘Yellowstone’ Execs For Failing To Defend Him Amid Exit Rumors: “I Was Disappointed”

As Kevin Costner‘s future on Yellowstone hung in limbo, the actor was rumored to have diva behavior and an ongoing rift with showrunner Taylor Sheridan. Now that he’s confirmed his exit from the hit series, he’s opening up about his time playing Yellowstone’s family patriarch John Dutton — and why he was “disappointed” in the way his departure was handled.

Costner recently told People that he “loved” Yellowstone and “liked the people on the show.” However, he waited for the scripts and schedule for the second part of Season 5 for over a year, and still, “the scripts weren’t there.”

“There was a moment where that show for me stopped for 14 months… That’s the fact,” he said. “I could have done a lot of things in that time, but I wasn’t aware that that [hold-up] was going to happen.”

For months, the star was subject of countless rumors about his controversial exit, which wasn’t officially confirmed until September 2023.

“I read all the stories,” he told People. “I was disappointed that nobody on their side… ever stepped up to defend what it was I actually did for them. There came a moment where I thought, ‘Wow, when is somebody going to say something about what I have done versus what I haven’t done?’”

According to Costner, Sheridan first pitched Yellowstone to him as one season, but the studio instead asked for a series that expanded further. The actor said he “stepped up” and agreed to star in three seasons, before ultimately doing five.

“I liked the writing and really, really liked what Taylor was doing,” Costner said. “He understood the world of modern-day ranching and was able to create all this other type of drama inside it, but in an effective way.”

Kelly Reilly and Kevin Costner on 'Yellowstone'
Photo: Paramount Network

Costner previously expressed his frustration with the Yellowstone higher-ups in a May 2024 interview with GQ, telling the outlet that no one came to his defense when he was accused in the press of “only [wanting] to work one week.”

“My big disappointment is I never heard Paramount or 101 [Studios] really come to my defense and say, ‘That’s not true. He was going to do three more seasons,’” he said. “I started off only giving three seasons, ended up doing five and got embroiled in a thing that I don’t feel one person over there ever told the story correctly, ever, about what I had done and what I’ve been willing to do.”

He continued, “That’s [what] really fucking bothered me, that none of them would actually try to set the record straight.”

As for whether he’d ever reprise his iconic role, Costner told People that he’d be open to returning to Yellowstone — but only for the right script.

“It might be an interesting moment to come back and finish the mythology of this modern-day family,” he said. ” And if that happens, I would step into it if I agreed with how it was being done.”

He added, “In the very end, I couldn’t do any more for it than I had already done.”

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