It’s almost as though Dolly Parton’s right-leaning fans are completely unaware of the fact that she starred in and wrote the hit title song for one of the preeminent feminist-bent films of all time. In fact, she was so attached to 9 to 5 the movie that 30 years later she wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical version of the story in which three overworked, underappreciated women fantasize about roping and poisoning their deeply sexist macho man of a boss. And yet Parton’s Donald Trump-supporting fans are eviscerating her on social media for appearing alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda for the long-awaited 9 to 5 reunion at Sunday’s Emmy Awards, as though they had no idea she's got some friends on the left.
“Back in 1980 in that movie we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” Jane Fonda said after Parton said she’d been waiting a long time to reunite with her costars. “And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot,” Tomlin chimed in while Parton, although silent, playfully pretended to be surprised at their applying one of the film’s most famous quotes to Trump.
It’s also almost as though Parton’s fans had no idea that her costars in the 1980 film were already subversive by most right-wing standards. Fonda had always been outspoken about politics, earning herself the nickname “Hanoi Jane” for her one-woman protest of the Vietnam War that incensed conservatives at the time, and Tomlin has been an out lesbian since the beginning of her career.
And even though Parton broke up the politics with her own brand of homespun humor with none other than, you guessed it, some boob jokes, her fans on the right are incensed over her appearing with Fonda and Tomlin in what was one of the more pointed moments aimed at Trump.
The trio happened to all be nominated for Emmy Awards, with Fonda and Tomlin earning nominations for their roles in the queer-themed Netflix comedy Grace and Frankie, and Parton’s TV movie that she cowrote about her upbringing in the Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, landing a nod.
But on Parton’s Facebook page on a post promoting her upcoming children’s album, I Believe in You, the comments are vicious.
“I would not spend a penny on your items again until you repudiate what was done to our President in your presence and you in agreement! Your next movie should be 'Dolly finally showed her true colors!'" wrote one poster.
One particularly histrionic commenter suggested that Parton’s appearance on the Emmys would lead to the economic demise of the town that houses her theme park, Dollywood, which Trump supporters are threatening to boycott.
“After the Emmys, would never give my grandchildren a album of yours. If you are a true Christian & USA loving patriotic American, you would have stood up for our President,” wrote the poster. “So extremely disappointed in you! Heartbreaking for your fans & for the innocent residents of Pigeon Forge, TN as you have just single handedly destroyed the local economy. Those innocent ppl will become as poor as you where growing up. All because you wouldn’t stand up against the trashing of our President.”
The bashing of Parton goes on for thousands of comments on her Facebook page accusing her of aligning herself with liberals. It’s like they aren’t aware that she’s never wavered in support of her LGBT fans, having spoken up for trans people regarding North Carolina’s bathroom bill and for marriage equality going back to 2009. Not to mention, she has often dedicated her smash hit “Jolene” to the drag queens who dress like her at her concerts.