Dolly Parton discussed a wide range of topics with Billboard for its “Country Power Players 2020” issue, including her new holiday album. The publication shared a few video snippets from her sit-down on its Twitter page, and one clip showed the country music legend sharing her thoughts about the Black Lives Matter movement. She made it clear that she supports the demonstrators fighting racial injustice.
Dolly, 74, rarely speaks about her political views, but she stated that she believes “everybody needs to express themselves however they feel they have to.” She said she understands why protesters have taken to the streets, and the “I Will Always Love You” singer had a colorful explanation for why the BLM activists can consider her an ally.
“But I do understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” Dolly said. “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white a**es are the only ones that matter? No!”
The beloved musician also spoke about how she lets her heart guide her when it comes to how she lives her life, and she said that she always looks to God for direction.
The video received a large number of reactions on Twitter. The “Jolene” hitmaker’s remarks were celebrated and debated, with some users suggesting that others were misunderstanding what she was trying to say. A few commenters argued that she wasn’t actually expressing support for BLM as a movement.
“She’s the bomb! What a terrific human being she is. She’d be that way, even if she weren’t talented, rich, or famous,” wrote one fan.
“Dolly is a real Christian, spreading a message of love and acceptance. Love her and her music forever,” read another remark.
“I’ve always loved Dolly. The only thing more amazing than her voice is her humanity. Preach, Dolly!!”
“She is saying ‘Everybody’ matters. That all races should be treated equal, no discrimination against any race should be tolerated,” a fourth tweet read.
During her interview, Dolly criticized some of her fellow Christians for being judgmental, revealing that her own philosophy is to let everyone “be themselves” and to leave the judging up to God. She also spoke about how she reacted when she was judged for operating an attraction in Tennessee called the Dixie Stampede. The name of the dinner theater show was changed to Dolly Parton’s Stampede after the singer became more informed about why many people consider the word “Dixie” to have racist connotations. Dolly admitted to being guilty of “innocent ignorance.” She also had some advice for others who have erred in similar ways.
“As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it,” she said. “Don’t be a dumba**. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”