Dolly Parton Speaks Out Against Cancel Culture: "That's Terrible"
“We all make mistakes.”
Dolly Parton, the singer-songwriter, actress, philanthropist and icon, spoke out against cancel culture in a wide-ranging interview with the Hollywood Reporter that ran on November 2nd. The 77-year-old singer, promoting her new album Rockstar, out November 17th, has reason to be asked about it: Not only has she been in the entertainment industry for fifty years (she's seen it all), but country music has had its share of recent controversies, with Jason Aldean's hit song "Try That in a Small Town" derided as racist by some, and Morgan Wallen admitting he used an "unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur." (Neither man was canceled for very long.)
In the interview, Parton also weighed in on transgender rights. Read on to hear what this "faith-based person" said about these hot topics.
Hollywood Reporter writer Mesfin Fekadu asked Parton what she thinks of cancel culture. "I think that's terrible," said Parton. "We all make mistakes. We don't all get caught at it. But also when somebody makes a mistake, it depends on who they are. That's what God is there for."
"Now, I happen to believe in God," Parton continued. "I'm a faith-based person, so therefore I am able to see it like that. A lot of people don't, but even still, everybody deserves a second chance. You deserve to be innocent until you're proven guilty. Even when you're proven guilty, if God can forgive you, so can I. If God can forgive you, we all should forgive one another."
RELATED: Dolly looks amazing for her age. Don't miss these 18 Anti-Aging Tips That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger.
Fekadu asked Parton, who lives in Tennessee, about the state's bill "that allows for discrimination against trans people. You have a large gay following and you've supported the community, but what are your thoughts on this bill? "Well, what I always say, 'I just want everybody to be treated good,'" answered Parton. "I try not to get into the politics of everything. I try to get into the human element of it. I have some of everybody in my own immediate family and in my circle of employees. I've got transgender people. I've got gays. I've got lesbians. I've got drunks. I've got drug addicts — all within my own family. I know and love them all, and I do not judge."
Parton continued: "And I just see how broken-hearted they get over certain things and I know how real they are. I know how important this is to them. That's who they are. They cannot help that any more than I can help being Dolly Parton, you know, the way people know me. If there's something to be judged, that is God's business. But we are all God's children and how we are is who we are."
Fekadu asked Parton about hits "like Jason Aldean's 'Try This in a Small Town' and Oliver Anthony Music's 'Rich Men North of Richmond' — that some people feel are divisive" but Parton focused her answer instead on the first part of the question, which was about country music's general surge in popularity. "I think it's great. I feel the same way about that as I do about people and changes and whoever. I'm just proud that country music is that popular," she said. "Everybody has a right to sing it, if they feel it, and if they love it. If you can sing country music and you love it, I'm just proud that it's become [big]." She added: "Seeing all the Black people coming into our business — I think it's great, 'cause they sing this. Who besides them could sing about hard-ass times? That's what country music is about."
Parton revealed the stars she wished she'd gotten for the new album. "Lionel Richie was supposed to sing with me on one of the songs. I love Lionel, and we've been friends for years, and he'd already agreed to do it, but he was really busy. Cher, same thing. She's not rock, but we have a very similar gay following. I knew that I could do something with Cher that would be a cool thing for my gay fans," she said. She also wanted to work with Mick Jaggar and "I would love to sing something with Ed Sheeran. I think our voices would be so beautiful together. Same thing — when I was doing the album, he was working on his own album and had agreed to sing something with me, but we ran out of time."