Dolly Parton Supporters Defend Her Against Internet Trolls: 'Bite Me'

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Supporters are coming to Dolly Parton’s defense after internet trolls criticized the 77-year-old country music legend for wearing a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader-inspired look when she took the stage for The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Kickoff Halftime Show during the Thanksgiving Day game against the Washington Commanders. 

Parton’s sister, singer-songwriter Stella Parton, and actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg clapped back against critics of the Rockstar artist’s halftime show and wardrobe. Stella, 74, wrote in a post on X (also widely known by its former name, Twitter): “I personally thought my big sister Dolly was cute as hell in her Dallas Cowboys cheerleading costume at the half time show on Thanksgiving. To those of you being so critical of a 77 year old kicking up her heels, I say f*** yourself. Shame on you not her.”

Goldberg also sounded off against haters, saying in a clip on The View: “Apparently, my turkey wasn’t the only subject online that people were hating. Seventy-seven-year-old superstar Dolly Parton stole the show on Thanksgiving at the Cowboys-Commanders game dressed as a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader. But some critics told her to act her age. Bite me!”

The audience of The View applauded Goldberg’s remark as the TV personality continued, telling “everybody that participated in this, you should be ashamed of yourself,” referring to Beyoncé’s daughter, Blue Ivy, 11, receiving critical remarks for her dancing on her mother’s tour. Goldberg praised Blue Ivy’s pledge to use the criticism as motivation to work harder, and doubled down, “shame on y’all. …Don’t be shady, man. Life’s too short.”

Parton took the stage during the Thanksgiving Halftime Show with her career-spanning hits, including classics “Jolene” and “9 To 5,” in addition to her newly-released anthem “We Are The Champions/We Will Rock You,” from her first-ever rock album, Rockstar. Parton released the 30-track collection following her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The global megastar marked her biggest album debut ever with the project, which is packed with star-studded collaborations, landing at No. 1 on several charts.

“Wow, this is a big thrill!” Parton exclaimed in a statement on Monday (November 27). “I owe a thank you to the fans who have always been there for me. Their support made this achievement possible. I’d also like to thank my producer Kent Wells, all the wonderful artists, musicians, and engineers who brought their talents to this project.”

Watch Parton’s full Thanksgiving Halftime Show performance here: