He put it a bit more colorfully in an interview with Michael Shulman in The New Yorker:
You have some wonderful stories of basically getting away with stuff at the studios.
I’d learned one very simple trick: say yes. Simply say yes. Like Joseph E. Levine, on “The Producers,” said, “The curly-haired guy—he’s funny looking. Fire him.” He wanted me to fire Gene Wilder. And I said, “Yes, he’s gone. I’m firing him.” I never did. But he forgot. After the screening of “Blazing Saddles,” the head of Warner Bros. threw me into the manager’s office, gave me a legal pad and a pencil, and gave me maybe twenty notes. He would have changed “Blazing Saddles” from a daring, funny, crazy picture to a stultified, dull, dusty old Western. He said, “No farting.” I said, “It’s out.”
That’s probably the most famous scene in the movie, the campfire scene.
I know. He said, “You can’t punch a horse.” I said, “You’ll never see it again.” I kept saying, “You’re absolutely right. It’s out!” Then, when he left, I crumpled up all his notes, and I tossed it in the wastepaper basket. And John Calley, who was running [production at] Warner Bros. at the time, said, “Good filing.” That was the end of it. You say yes, and you never do it.
That’s great advice for life.
It is. Don’t fight them. Don’t waste your time struggling with them and trying to make sense to them. They’ll never understand.
As a reader pointed out to me, this also works with toddlers. (And many other kinds of humans.)