Country music legend Dolly Parton spoke out in support of Black Lives Matter in a new interview Thursday. She also defended dropping the word "Dixie" from her Dolly Parton's Stampede dinner attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Parton said she did not want to offend anyone or hurt anyone on purpose.
In the wide-ranging interview with Billboard Magazine, Parton said she supports what the Black Lives Matter movement represents, although she has not personally attended any marches. "I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," the "Jolene" singer said. "And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!"
Parton dropped the word "Dixie" from the Stampede attraction in 2018 after she learned the negative connotation the term has for many people. The term is associated with the antebellum South, before the Civil War and when slavery was still legal. The Dixie Chicks have since dropped it from their name and now go by just The Chicks. Lady Antebellum also changed their name to avoid being linked to that time in history. "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,'" Parton told Billboard. "As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don't be a dumba—. That's where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose."
Parton later said she does not judge others, leading that job up to God. "I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge," she explained. "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."
Parton's interview with Billboard was published just as she announced her latest album, A Holly Dolly Christmas. The record will be released by Parton's Butterfly Records and 12Tone Music Group on Oct. 2. It includes collaborations with Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon, Willie Nelson, and Michael Buble, as well as a cover of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Parton is also working on a Netflix Christmas movie, Christmas on the Square, which takes its title from one of the album's original songs.