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Dolly Parton talks 9 to 5 The Musical, #MeToo and being a strong woman in the workplace | Ents & Arts News

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Dolly Parton has said there is still “a long way to go” for women in the workplace
as she addressed gender equality before the launch of 9 to 5 The Musical in London.

The country music star said 9 to 5 The Musical, which debuted at the West End’s Savoy Theatre on Sunday, deals with some “great, important issues” and that the show resonates with the recent #MeToo movement.

Speaking exclusively to Sky News, she said: “It’s a work in progress as life itself is – especially women in the workplace.

Dolly Parton sits down with Sky News
Image:
Dolly Parton sits down with Sky News to discuss some of the issues addressed in the show

“So I really think that’s why we’re here now with the new #MeToo movement.

“It brought up the subject again with harassment in the workplace and the fact that women are still not getting the chance to do as much as they can or get paid equal for the work that they do.”

Parton, who wrote the Grammy award-winning song 9 to 5 in the 70s, said she was “lucky” to have navigated a successful career but admitted to being constantly “hit on” throughout her life.

She said: “Of course I’ve been hit on in my life. Any young girl, would be. But a lot of that I just took as a compliment.

Dolly Parton pictured in the UK in 1977
Image:
Dolly Parton pictured in the UK in 1977

“I never did anything to try and get ahead in the business, I’ve never slept with anyone unless I wanted to.”

She added that she has known “more good men in my life than bad ones” and that there are “a lot of bad women in this world too”.

“I’ve worked with a lot of women that were b*****s, b****y as anyone else can be. It’s just about the person, about how we treat each other with respect.”

Parton said she is “proud to be a woman” but added that she thinks “like a man”.

“I just think of it in terms of getting a job done.”

Talking about the musical, which is making its debut 40 years after the original film, Parton said it is “going to be fun”.

What’s great about 9 to 5 is it makes some good points and deals with some great, important issues, but it’s also very entertaining,” she said.

The musical tells the story of Doralee, Violet and Judy, three workmates pushed to the limit by a sexist and egotistical boss.

Dolly Parton (C) sings with Katy Perry (L) and Kacey Musgraves at the 2019 Grammy Awards
Image:
Dolly Parton (C) sings with Katy Perry (L) and Kacey Musgraves at the 2019 Grammy Awards

Based on the 1980 cult movie of the same name, it features a book by the movie’s original screenwriter Patricia Resnick and music and lyrics written by Parton herself.

It carries a theme of female empowerment with a predominantly female cast including Bonnie Langford, Amber Davies, Louise Redknapp and Caroline Sheen.

Despite writing songs and choosing projects that are feminist, Parton doesn’t view herself as a feminist.

“I think that I just live my femininity. I mean, people say ‘are you a feminist?’ And I say, I don’t know what that means,” she said.

“I’m proud to be a woman, proud to be a woman in business, proud enough to do what I do.”







Stars praise Parton as they attend new musical premiere

But she thinks there may be a chance of a female US president coming into power in her lifetime, though she “needs to be smart”.

“She needs to have the goods, she needs to have the knowledge, needs to have the backbone to be able to run a country.”

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