Count Dolly Parton among those who back the Black Lives Matter movement. The singer expressed those views in a most Dolly-esque way, saying this in a Billboard cover story that dropped Thursday: "I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," she said in reference to the protests that sprung up after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. "And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!" The New York Post calls it a "rare political statement" for the 74-year-old and recalls how she "notably blanched" while on stage during the 2017 Emmys when Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda began swiping at President Trump.
Two years later, she explained her reaction like so: "I’ve got as many Republican friends as I’ve got Democrat friends and I just don’t like voicing my opinion on things." Billboard notes she was ahead of the curve when it comes to dropping offensive terms. She switched the name of her Dixie Stampede dinner attraction to Dolly Parton’s Stampede in 2018 after learning more about the word's associations (though Billboard points out the decision was preceded by this critical article). "There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that," she tells the magazine. "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.' As soon as you realize 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." (Read more Dolly Parton stories.)