Dolly Parton trolls should be ‘ashamed’ says Whoopi Goldberg after cheerleader backlash

Whoopi Goldber (left) defends Dolly Parton (right) against ageist trolls.

Ghost star Whoopi Goldberg has leapt to the defence of country music icon Dolly Parton after she faced ageist criticism of her Dallas Cowboys cheerleader outfit.

Last week (23 November), Parton appeared at the AT&T Stadium in Texas during the holiday halftime show of the NFL Washington Commanders v Dallas Cowboys game.

The 77-year-old music legend performed a short set, dressed as a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader – featuring white hot pants, a white and blue cropped top, and matching belt, adorned with the team’s signature blue stars.

Dolly Parton in a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader outfit.
Dolly Parton in a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader outfit. (Getty/Ron Jenkins)

Following the performance, social media was flooded with sad comments from viewers who decided to voice their opinion on what the “Jolene” hitmaker should – and shouldn’t – be wearing.

Some declared that the outfit was more suited to “a 17-year-old” rather than a 77-year-old, while others made tired comparisons to fellow pop singer Madonna, who has also endured ageist criticism of the way she looks.

While Dolly Parton fans spent their weekend defending the star from cruel remarks about the musician, she’s now found support in one of Hollywood’s most legendary stars – The Color Purple actress Whoopi Goldberg.

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Speaking yesterday (27 November) on US morning show The View, which she hosts, Goldberg spoke passionately to declare that those being ageist should be “ashamed” of themselves.

“Apparently, my turkey wasn’t the only subject online that people were hating,” began the Oscar-winning actress, referring to a viral, mini controversy in which Goldberg was seen handling her Thanksgiving turkey without gloves.

“77-year-old superstar Dolly Parton stole the show on Thanksgiving at the Cowboys-Commanders game dressed as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, but some critics told her to act her age,” she continued.

“Bite me! Everybody that participated in this, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

The View co-host Sunny Hostin added: “If I look like that in one of them Cowboys things, I might have everything out. I don’t know if that’s a belly ring or what, but I want what she has,” referring to a diamante star that covered Parton’s belly button.

The group also spoke briefly about similar vitriol directed at Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy after she was criticised for performing at her mother’s Renaissance Tour.

Goldberg wasn’t the only loyal supporter to come out and defend Parton against the age-shaming trolls, as the singer’s own sister, Stella Parton, also had her say.

“I personally thought my big sister Dolly was cute as hell in her Dallas Cowboys cheerleading costume at the half time show on Thanksgiving,” she declared in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“To those of you being so critical of a 77-year-old kicking up her heels, I say f**k yourself. Shame on you, not her.”