Country music superstar Dolly Parton has been praised by fans after voicing her support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
In an interview with Billboard, the singer-songwriter addressed the wave of anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests that occurred in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and explained why she renamed a potentially offensive ride in her self-branded theme park Dollywood.
“I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” Parton said. “Of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”
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Back in 2018, the artist, who is known for hits including “Jolene” and “9 to 5”, renamed the Civil War-themed attraction at Dollywood, from “Dixie Stampede” to “Dolly Parton’s Stampede”.
“When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it The Stampede,” she said. “As soon as you realise that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
Parton, who was born in Tennessee, is known for having an especially strong following in the southern US states, where support for the Black Lives Matter movement is often lower. People on social media were quick to praise Parton for speaking out.
“Between Dolly Parton’s quiet Covid research fund, BLM support, and her sending generations of children books through the USPS, at 74, she continues to be one of the most relevant and ever timely people of every era,” wrote one Twitter user.
Parton was also described as a “national treasure,” and an “American treasure”, while someone else described Parton as “one incredible American”.
Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt wrote: “Me: I couldn’t love @DollyParton more. (reads Billboard interview) Me: I stand corrected.”