Dolly Parton calls out ‘greedy politicians’ and addresses rumours she’ll run for office

Dolly Parton in a pink patterned dress against a pink background

Dolly Parton has slammed legislators unwilling to act on global issues such as climate change.

If there’s one celebrity you can count on to speak sense, from anywhere in the vast world of Hollywood and beyond, it’s the inimitable country music legend Dolly.

She is one of the rare stars who puts their money where their mouth is – she’s been involved in everything from helping to fund a COVID-19 vaccine to paying for tuition fees for underprivileged children. She has even quietly supported Black school bands, all alongside an incredibly successful music career.

The latest topic on her list of grievances seems to be climate change. Her newest single, “World on Fire”, which was released in May, asks what we’re going to do “when it all burns down.”

In an interview with the BBC, she criticised “greedy politicians” who wilfully ignore the issue.

Prompted by interviewer Charlie Stayt, who told the “Jolene” singer that she had largely “kept her politics [quiet],” Dolly took the opportunity to clarify her stance.

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“Well [climate change is] not politics to me,” she replied. “I do make the statement: ‘Don’t get me started on politics’. [I don’t know] how we live in a world like this, greedy politicians, present and past, [who] wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them.”

She believes her stance is largely apolitical, and said that uses her voice through music.

“I accept and love everybody. I think we get so trapped in our beliefs that we have to stay with a certain thought – and, therefore, nothing ever changes. I just try to live it, be an example, write about it in my own way, but I don’t think of myself, at all, as being political.”

Signing off, Dolly confirmed – to the disappointment of many, probably – that we won’t be seeing her in the Oval Office any time soon.

“I’m running from office,” she quipped.

The superstar has previously told Good Morning America that “World on Fire” is “really kinda about the times and how we can do a little better if we try to heal the divide and just get along a little better”.

She added: “It’s got a great message to it. Good and solid rock anthem.”

Despite her insistence that she has no interest in politics, Dolly has been dragged into right-wing discourse, willingly or not. Her duet with goddaughter Miley Cyrus, “Rainbowland”, was recently banned by a school in Wisconsin for being “controversial”, amid a rising intolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community.

Dolly will be making her voice heard on her new rock ‘n’ roll album, Rockstar – which, according to Reuters, was “inspired by her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” last year.

The album will feature musical behemoths such as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Sting and, of course, Miley.

Rockstar is released on 17 November.