Dolly Parton removed the ‘Dixie’ from Dollywood & says ‘of course Black lives matter’

Miley Cyrus bares her belly in New York

How is that a 74-year-old woman who grew up in Appalachia with little formal education became the most beloved living American artist? And not only that, Dolly Parton is without a doubt one of the smartest businesswomen out there, and one of the wokest. She’s always bridged gaps between generations and demographics with authenticity and charm. She’s an absolute treasure. Her cover profile in Billboard is amazing too – it’s about her business, her deal-making, her intelligence and her dead-on instincts in money and in life. She also talks about changes she’s made to Dollywood – taking out the “Dixie” crap with no muss or fuss – and how Black Lives Matter.

On reopening Dollywood: “We certainly are not going to have a great year this year. Hopefully by coming back, we’ll pick up some stuff that we’ve lost. All of the things that I’m involved in are on hold, even my production companies and the movies — everything [took] a big hit. But I still believe, still trust God, and I’m still hoping for the best.”

Diversifying her business. “I often wonder why more artists don’t do more things like that to have something to fall back on if things don’t work out the way they’d hoped — or just to have something more. I feel like even if I wasn’t popular anymore, I could always sing at Dollywood.”

Taking Dixie out of Dollywood. In 2018 she renamed her Dixie Stampede dinner attraction Dolly Parton’s Stampede as she became more aware of how hurtful the term “Dixie” and its associations with the Confederacy could be — perhaps because of a 2017 Slate article that cast a critical eye on its rosy, family-friendly depictions of the Civil War. (At the time, the Dollywood Company said it was also eyeing an international expansion and noted that “Dixie” wouldn’t translate abroad.) “There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that. 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.”

She supports Black Lives Matter: Parton hasn’t attended any recent marches, but she is unequivocal in her support of protestors and the Black Lives Matter movement. “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen. And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”

No judgment: “First of all, I’m not a judgmental person. I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge. All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”

[From Billboard]

“As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass.” I love her so hard, I’m almost crying. “And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” I’M SCREAMING!! You guys should read the full Billboard profile though, it’s excellent and there’s soooo much about her empire and her deals in there, which I love. She’s so smart about the deals she makes, and the people around her say that she actually turns down about 90% of the stuff she’s offered. They also confirm something I suspected, which is that Dolly hired a team to do her social media and help her stay relevant on the platforms the kids love. Which is so smart!

Cover and IG courtesy of Billboard.

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43 Responses to “Dolly Parton removed the ‘Dixie’ from Dollywood & says ‘of course Black lives matter’”

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  1. Sayrah says:

    American treasure!

  2. Giggles says:

    Dolly for President!

  3. Lucy says:

    I’m really happy to hear this. I went to the Dixie Stampede in 2017 (family trip with my Yankee in laws), and came away disappointed with Dolly for it.
    There was a part of the show that openly talked about the “romance of the South,” with women in antebellum fashion. There were a few black women in the cast, also wearing the fancy dresses, but it was so uncomfortable.
    I’d be interested to know if they’ve taken out the parts of the show that exoticized Native Americans as well.
    I mean, it was basically a medieval times type show, but centered on the American greatness myth (cowboys! Indians! Antebellum romance! I blank out what happened next). They had gorgeous horses, fantastic, talented performers who could ride hires, dance, sing, acrobats. Anyway, it’s as historically accurate as medevil times (so, not actually at all), but was using narratives and stereotypes that hurt living people.
    Thank you for coming to my TED talk 😄
    Anyway, I can’t wait to get a poster with her white assess quote

  4. Alexandria says:

    Love her!

  5. Suzieq359 says:

    Nothing but love for Dolly!

  6. smcollins says:

    The only thing my dad passed on to me, considering we have absolutely nothing in common other than shared dna, is his love of Dolly Parton. He actually had a DP Barbie doll that I loved to play with as a kid. I don’t know if he got it himself or if someone gave it to him as a joke, but that doll was awesome (adorned in a red sparkly jumpsuit and featuring all of her, um, attributes). My kids’ library is thanks in large part to her Imagination Library foundation. She’s puts her money where her mouth is and is just a genuinely kind & giving person, not to mention wickedly smart & funny. American Treasure indeed.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I was behind her in LAX one time and was stunned by her kindness and professionalism. She was flanked be two bodyguards and people kept coming up to her to say nice things. She would like them straight in the eye , genuinely say “thank you so much” or “that means a lot to me”, while never breaking her stride.

    Also, everything she says on the quotes comes from a place of simple human decency and kindness.

  8. Murphy says:

    When this came out yesterday every Tennessee based Young Living Instagram influencer was like “duck this doesn’t really fit with my Southern Mom image…what do I doooooo?!”

    • Betsy says:

      I don’t know enough about the people you’re talking about to get what you’re saying, but I want to.

  9. Snuffles says:

    This black woman LOVES her some Dolly!!

    • kerwood says:

      Plus one. When I read her BLM quote I teared up. She’s an amazing singer, songwriter and it looks like she’s an amazing person too.

    • Green Desert says:

      Same!

    • I LOVE Dolly too and I CANNOT RECOMMEND the podcast DOLLY PARTON’S AMERICA enough. It uses Dolly to examine all kinds of issues of class and race in America and it’s SOOOOOO GOOD. Best podcast I’ve listened to! There is a whole section on the Dixie stampede and it really shows that not only does Dolly have a giant heart, she is an innately canny and smart businesswoman. People underestimate her at their peril. Like she said when they called her a dumb blonde. “I don’t mind cause I know I’m not blonde or dumb!” A national treasure. She’s the only one I can see on the side of a mountain. (Just not one sacred to anyone)

  10. Betsy says:

    She truly is an American treasure. I know she said a few years ago she stays publicly apolitical because she’s a businesswoman and doesn’t want to alienate her fan base (a sin for which Taylor Swift was crucified), but I like that she’s slow walking her fan base towards factual reality: that black lives matter. That there’s innocent ignorance, but with the implication that once someone enlightens you and you continue to cause hurt, you aren’t innocently ignorant anymore, you’re being a dck.

    I love Dolly.

    • Sarah says:

      I wonder if part of this is the shift in recent years when political views have become publicly SO extreme that it’s becoming harder to stay apolitical and have a conscience. The overt racism and nastiness of the current political regime has taken things to another level. Suddenly saying ‘treat everyone fairly’ has become a political statement.

      • lucy2 says:

        I would think so. Things have really shifted to the extreme, and not speaking up really isn’t an option anymore.
        I think a LOT of white celebrities did the apolitical thing for a long time, but I’m glad it’s changing. Sad that it took getting to this point for that to happen.

  11. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    I never fail to be amazed by this woman, and I can’t believe how much more amazing she becomes by the year. Dolly is an absolute living legend.

  12. Sarah says:

    “All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us.”

    I LOVE YOU DOLLY.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      PREACH, DOLLY! A little louder for all the fake Christians in the back too!

    • “There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that. 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.”

      It’s this simple. Why can’t more people grasp this?

  13. Nikki* says:

    I LOVE Dolly SO MUCH; she gives money to those in need. she’s a smart businesswoman, and ESPECIALLY I AM GRATEFUL FOR HER ABSOLUTELY FREE BOOK GIVE-AWAYS. All of my grandchildren receive a free book from her every month, and my daughters say the books are always so well chosen for just the age of the kids. She has retained her humanity, kindness, sense of humor, and manners even though she’s become a huge success. Amazing woman.

  14. RG says:

    I will always love Dolly ❤️

  15. yinyang says:

    Such a sweetheart, I’ve always loved her.

  16. Nina Simone says:

    Her business acumen has always inspired me. Love how she unabashedly took control even as a woman. Love Dolly!

  17. schmootc says:

    It’s so refreshing to see someone so matter of fact and blunt about BLM and getting rid of romanticizing Dixie/the antebellum life. And it seems like the kind of approach that many of her more conservative fans might respond to – no fuss, no muss, this is just how it should be and the best way to run my business.

  18. Catherine says:

    AMERICAN ROYALTY!!!!!!! A QUEEN! AN ICON!!!

    SHE IS EVERYTHING 👑👑👑

  19. adastraperaspera says:

    Leadership. That’s Dolly. In the very first weeks of the coronavirus lockdowns she gave 1 million dollars to Vanderbilt here in Nashville to pay for researching the disease. Back in the early 90s, she got together with Garth Brooks and other country stars for a show called “Break the Silence” that publicized AIDS education and prevention. Have you heard the song she wrote in May to honor first responders and inspire us to get through this?

    When Life Is Good Again, Dolly Parton
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEUYlo6OoDY

  20. C-Shell says:

    Y’all. If you ever ever listen to podcasts, this series — “Dolly Parton’s America” — is outstanding. The presenters took the title from a class taught at University of Tennessee (which is a really fun/interesting segment of the series).
    https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/dolly-partons-america

    And, no kidding, the Tennessee legislature is considering replacing a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest (first Grand Wizard of the KKK) with a bust of Dolly in the capitol building. She is that awesome.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      Co-sign! AMAZING podcast! I’m recommending to to anyone, even those who don’t already love Dolly!

      • C-Shell says:

        👍🏼 It’s rich with detail that I didn’t know, but one part that really resonates is how global her reach is and how *many* people here and in other countries have relied on her for solace and inspiration at difficult times and throughout their lives.

    • Just wrote to say the best podcast I have ever heard. It’s wonderful.

  21. Emily says:

    “I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.” I wish more people understood this! It’s what I think of every time someone gets upset about words no longer being acceptable, statues being removed, traditions being changed, etc. If it’s hurting someone else, why would you continue to do it?

    • Betsy says:

      I can think of two reasons: first, a lot of these people are broken. They grew up in authoritarian abusive homes masquerading as loving Christian but strict families, and right or wrong, a lot of broken people do not make sound choices. Second, they do not regard the people they’re deliberately hurting as full people.

  22. dlc says:

    I usually think that looking up to celebrities is a bad idea, they are people, just like us, with flaws. But man, I really do think Dolly is incredible.

  23. Nina says:

    Dolly Parton is amazing! I highly highly highly recommend the ‘Dolly Parton’s America’ podcast. The host’s father is a doctor and became friends with her when she came to him with a medical issue. So he did an interview with her that turned into the 9-part podcast. It’s super great!

    https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/dolly-partons-america/episodes

  24. laura-j says:

    Several years ago now she played at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a huge free concert in SF, they made the mistake of not putting her on the largest stage. Almost every single person at this concert made their way to catch a glimpse of Dolly, she was magnificent. Never been in a crowd so packed and so very very happy. National Treasure!!

  25. Mrs. Smith says:

    This may be old news, but the episode of Drunk History about Dolly’s early career, How she dumped Porter Wagner and scored the major deals SHE wanted from the big NYC music industry is pure gold. It was like 1970 and she owned them all. I beg you to watch it if you haven’t already! She never ceases to amaze me!

  26. Rise and Shine says:

    I think the world of her. Met her as a little girl in Tennessee and have worked with her on several charity issues a little regarding children with medical issues, the necessity of school bus routes, food banks, literacy programs, etc. over the years. She is shockingly cool! So sweet. Not to mention she is an incredibly prolific songwriter (seriously check it out.) So proud of her for saying what she did, in a way only she could :-) Love it.

  27. lucy2 says:

    She’s such a good person. Generous, caring, non-judgemental, and walks the walk.

  28. A says:

    She had me hooked ever since I saw gifs of an interview she gave, a long time ago, where she said that she thought the hooker in her little town was the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen, and she didn’t understand why people thought she looked ‘trashy.’ That, and her song, The Coat of Many Colours makes me cry in spite of myself.

  29. AndaPanda says:

    My last year of college I took what little money and airline points I had and flew to meet my sister for a road trip to TN. I went to Gatlingburg and Pigeon Forge as part of that trip and a visit to Dollywood was part of it. I’ve been to countries all over the world but to this day that was one my favorite trips. I also fell in love with Dolly and her story and she even showed up in person and participated in the parade since it was one of the anniversaries of the park! As a black woman in her early 20s at the time I laughed at myself but my whole family loves her and we love her even more now after this quote. I also love that the racists are losing their minds.