Dolly Parton refuses to be put 'on a pedestal' in Tennessee capitol, fans call her 'true spirit of the South'

Parton has asked Tennessee lawmakers to withdraw a bill that would erect a statue of her on the capitol grounds in Nashville

                            Dolly Parton refuses to be put 'on a pedestal' in Tennessee capitol, fans call her 'true spirit of the South'
Dolly Parton performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year event honoring her at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2019 (Getty Images)

With one humble gesture, Dolly Parton might have just won her some more fans. She is asking Tennessee lawmakers to withdraw a bill that would erect a statue of her on the capitol grounds in Nashville.

In a statement tweeted from her account, she wrote: “Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.” She added that she was "honored and humbled" by the gesture and hoped that "somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I'm gone if you feel I deserve it, then I'm certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean." She also said that she would continue to "do good work to make this great state proud". 


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Tweets dubbed her a 'class act' and a figure of humility in these difficult times. "Nothing unites America like Dolly Parton. A class act," said one tweet, while another said: "*reads Dolly Parton statement taking down celebrity worship* well folks we have to stan". 




Country music singer Dolly Parton smiles during the National Press Club luncheon in Washington D.C., March 23, 2000. Parton announced today that she is donating $7 million to help fund the expansion of her Dollywood Foundation's Imagination Library reading program for children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Others compared her favorably to publicity-hungry celebs of today. One tweet said, "Dolly, At a time when way too many celebrities think they're more important than the rest of us, there YOU are - one of us! While some other celebrities do good work, little YOU are the giant, the standard-bearer & the example that others will be measured against for generations!", while another user commented: "Yall I had follow Dolly Parton. She been getting right and the least I can do is celebrate her now and hope other celebrities follow in her footsteps when such events like this arise." Another tweet echoed this stating "If only other celebrities could take a note from Dolly’s playbook!" 




A mural created by Nashville based artist Kim Radford is seen on August 19, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. The mural is painted on the wall outside of The 5 Spot, a music venue in East Nashville. (Getty Images)

But among all the love for all, there was a significant number of people who wanted to worship her more precisely because she was refusing the honor. What's more, they wanted her statues to replace confederacy statues because she truly 'represented' the South. One user wrote: "Dolly: Don’t put me on a pedestal. Me: *puts away world’s largest pedestal*. Someday, Dolly." and then added in another tweet: "Also, replace every single confederate statue, and if you can’t think of a local historical POC, abolitionist, voting rights, civil rights, or LGBT rights hero (try harder), then you can use Dolly." 

Another tweet remarked: "Dolly is the true spirit of the south. Replace all confederate statues with Dolly!", while one user said: "Update on what should replace all confederate statues bc they’re more relevant and didn’t enslave millions of people: Dolly Parton statues". 




John Mark Windle, a Democratic state representative, had introduced the bill in January to honor Parton “for all that she has contributed to this state” by erecting the statue for her.

Parton is a lifelong philanthropist. She founded the Imagination Library, which mails books to children under the age of five across the world to improve child literacy, and her recent million-dollar donation to Vanderbilt University helped develop the highly effective Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Her advocacy for racial justice was recently celebrated in a mural in Nashville.

In advocating for the statue, Windle had said: “At this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is [a] kind, decent, passionate human being? [She’s] a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”