Dolly Parton Defends Kid Rock, Says Cancel Culture Is 'Terrible'
Is Dolly Parton being kind to a fault here?
The Jolene singer did a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday to promote her highly anticipated Rockstar album, out November 17. On the album she collabs with everyone from Sting to Miley Cyrus. But a couple of her duet partners are stirring up more controversy than she’s accustomed to. There’s Steven Tyler, who is currently being sued for sexual assault by the teenage girlfriend he took on tour with him in the 70s. And then there’s Kid Rock…
It’s Dolly’s comments about the latter that have some folks grimacing, especially the LGBTQ+ community and allies. She told the outlet:
“I did a song with Kid Rock on this album. Of course I did that before the controversy that he had, but somebody was talking to me the other day, ‘How could you do this with Kid?’ I said, ‘Hey, just because I love you don’t mean I don’t love Kid Rock. Just because I love Kid Rock don’t mean I don’t love you. I don’t condemn or criticize. I just accept and love.”
That… isn’t much of an explanation. But we’ll wait for her to have her full say. She is, after all, Dolly freakin’ Parton. She went on:
“Like I said, I had done that before, but I’d have probably still done it, because he is a gifted guy, and that song was about a bad boy; it was about a boy that was cheating and mistreating her. But like I say, I love everybody. I don’t criticize, I don’t condone nor condemn. I just accept them. But anyhow, just because I love you don’t mean I don’t love Kid Rock in that God way.”
The THR interview tapped that vein for more, asking her thoughts on “cancel culture” generally, to which she replied:
“I think that’s terrible. 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; 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.”
OK. That is a philosophy, alright. It seems pretty darn benign at face value. It sounds wonderful and warm to say you embrace everyone. But we have to ask… does it make sense?
Forgiving folks for their past mistakes is one thing. We love the idea that people can grow and change, that we can aspire to be better, that we can become the best versions of ourselves. And throwing away anyone who is willing to learn seems wrong.
But if we aren’t even judging the behavior as wrong, aren’t we implicitly giving everything a pass? Racism, bullying, antisemitism? Rape, murder, genocide? If we really aspire to our best selves — and want everyone to do so — shouldn’t we be actively discouraging this kind of behavior? And not, you know, letting everyone know it’s all good, they have a free pass, go wild??
The controversy she pointedly doesn’t voice about Kid Rock? He put himself on the forefront of a war being waged on LGBT folks. That war is very real and only getting worse. With his little machine gun theatrics, shooting up Bud Light cans just because they partnered with a trans influencer, he paired violence with transphobic protest. And if you don’t think there’s danger of folks being inspire to commit actual violence against innocent people out there, just because they’re gay and trans, boy do we have a lot of history to catch you up on.
Photos: Kid Rock Spotted Drinking Bud Light After Transphobic Beer-Shooting Stunt!
This isn’t a situation where you can take both sides. This isn’t the Yankees vs the Red Sox. The people on that side are waging war on our very existence. They are literally trying to make being LGBT a crime — while making it perfectly legal to discriminate against us. They are demonizing gay and trans people in a way that leads the most violent among them to believe they are saving children by hurting LGBT people. This is real, this is happening.
Is it really OK, in that context, to give someone actively preaching that hate a pass because “we all should forgive one another”?
We should note, elsewhere in the interview, Dolly did reiterate her support of the LGBT community. She said:
“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… 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.”
When asked specifically about laws being passed in her own state of Tennessee making it legal to discriminate, she said:
“I just want everybody to be treated good. I try not to get into the politics of everything. I try to get into the human element of it.”
Well, that’s a luxury not all of us have, sorry to say. Because if all the good, nice people stay out of “the politics of everything” the hatemongers will win. And then everybody will not be treated good.
So saying you want peace and love, but you’re unwilling to take a stand in defense of it, you’re unwilling to make judgments that help people see the error of their ways, well… You’re not being such an ally.
Let us know what YOU think, Perezcious readers.
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