A resurfaced 2003 interview between Oprah Winfrey and country legend Dolly Parton has sparked plenty of chatter and controversy on social media. While many of Parton’s fans have viewed the interview in a negative light, slamming Winfrey online for being inappropriate and far too invasive, others have a much different outlook on the conversation, sparking some to voice their defense of the media mogul.
Initially shared to TikTok, where it garnered more than 2.5 million views, and later making its way to Twitter, the interview, which aired shortly after Parton released her tribute album Just Because I’m A Woman, begins with Winfrey questioning Parton on her history of plastic surgery. In the brief clip, Winfrey could be heard asking Parton how she was managing to “defy age,” with Parton joking that she is “a cartoon” before Winfrey pushed, “No, but you’ve been open about how you’ve had some work done.” After Parton said she has had “some tucks and pulls and sucks, and I’ll have some more when I need ’em,” a second clip from the same interview spurred even more controversy as it saw Winfrey bringing Parton’s mental health into the discussion as she asked her if she “went into a huge depression” in her 40s. Parton, however, exclaimed her past struggles with her mental health were not related to her age, but rather “because I was fat and 40. I really had a lot of problems during that time, a lot of female problems. Just hormones and it just wasn’t just a depression thing. Just changing around. But I’m ok now.”
The interview has proven to be pretty controversial online, and while some have slammed Winfrey for what they view as invasive questioning, others have come to her defense. On Twitter, where the clips have been met with the most controversy, some social media users have hit back against claims that Winfrey was invasive with her questioning and have noted that Winfrey has interviewed Parton multiple times since that 2003 clip, suggesting there is no bad blood between them. Keep scrolling to see what people are saying.
i went searching for the rest. why did oprah drag dollys mental health into it 😐 pic.twitter.com/Z9XzbM8iwt
— Liz (@datbitchliz) August 28, 2021
“I just can’t. People out here trying to cancel Oprah for a past Dolly interview. Are we watching the same interview?” asked one person. “It was a great, fun interview. Also, these are things Dolly has openly talked about. I just can’t with all this. LOL.”
Are we all going to act like this is the 1st time she’s been asked that?…even though we know it isn’t. Oprah started out by saying “you’ve been open about having things nipped, tucked and sucked. I hate when young people think they’ve found a “got you”moment. This ain’t it. pic.twitter.com/NmqpFZRMqd
— HeCallMeGarfield (@VetMartin) August 29, 2021
“Oprah isn’t ‘hating’ on Dolly for asking about surgery. Dolly knows what people are wanting to know, and if she was uncomfortable discussing it, Oprah would’ve been barred from it beforehand,” noted somebody else. “Oprah and Dolly are also good pals, Dolly was just on Oprah’s Apple TV+ series LAST NOVEMBER to promote her new book. The two have always been fond of each other. So, this narrative that Oprah was ‘bitter’ towards Dolly makes NO sense.”
Some of yall don’t know how talk shows work and it shows….
— Izzie Uhtop?!? 😏🏳️🌈 (@Corbinburnsin) August 29, 2021
“Huge reach to believe Oprah was trying to embarrass Dolly,” wrote another person. “She’s marveling at how great she looks and as a woman serving women who are curious is asking HTF she does it. No shame in plastic surgery, and Dolly’s answer is perfect.”
Oprah wasn’t pulling some type of move here. She was asking questions based on stuff Dolly herself had said. Oprah’s huge platform discussing mental health & cosmetic surgery without having it seen as taboo topics was groundbreaking. Her questions had zero judgment.
— José (@josecanyousee) August 29, 2021
“Because that’s what her show was about at that time: mental/emotional (as well as spiritual) well-being. Dolly also openly detailed this time in her life in her 1994 autobiography,” commented one. “Sounds like Oprah had a perfectly valid question. Dolly seemed OK with it too.”
She didn’t “drag” it in. She asked her a question about something she had already said. Y’all kids are wild.
— nichelle fonville (@nikkitikkitaffi) August 29, 2021
“Where’s the dragging it out?” asked another of those claiming Winfrey “dragged” out vulnerable moments from Parton’s past. “Looks like an interview on an often NOT discussed topic back then and Oprah AND Dolly being willing to talk about something personal for the benefit of ppl.”
There’s no dragging Dolly into anything, and if you asked her about it today she’d tell you she has fans who share their own struggles with her because she shared them with the world.
— Steve Holstein (@Holstein) August 29, 2021
“I don’t see what you see, maybe because they setup preinterview topics,” tweeted somebody else. “Dolly, knew what was coining and was obviously okay with it. Dolly is a pretty open book and she wouldn’t have gone on Oprah if she wasn’t.”