Dolly Parton is laughin’, drinkin,’ and havin’ a party because she just won a GLAAD Media Award!
The ultimate queen of country was on hand—virtually—at the 31st annual GLAAD Media Awards to accept the award for Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular LGBTQ character). Her 2019 Netflix series, Dolly Parton’s Hearstrings, featured an episode, “Two Doors Down,” focusing on a gay couple who comes out at a family wedding.
The episode was nominated up against Drunk History, Law & Order: SVU, Easy, and Watchmen.
“I’m just so glad to be here, and I’m just thrilled out of my tight pants to accept,” Parton said in her winner’s speech, before thanking everyone involved in the making of the episode.
The synopsis for “Two Doors Down” reads: “A family’s lifetime of secrets come bursting out during a chaotic and comedic New Year’s Eve wedding weekend. Will they make it to witness the ’I do’s’ without killing one another?”
At the Dollywood red carpet premiere for Heartstrings, NewNowNext asked Parton why she wanted to include a gay storyline in the family-friendly series:
“It’s important that I touched on everything that all families go through. Everyone has gays in their family,” Parton explained. “I tried to give all the different angles in the stories. Just like we have an interracial marriage because people deal with that all the time.”
“I just wanted to present people and lives, and what people go through,” she added. “I just wanted to touch on everything for everybody.”
Andy Mientus, one of the episode’s stars, also attended the premiere and spoke about what it meant to him that Parton decided to feature queer characters in Heartstrings: “We’re the last episode of the season, we’re also the Christmas episode of the season, and we’re also the gay episode. It just really speaks to Dolly’s embrace of our community; she chose to not only to feature that story at all, but center it as the finale of this series and the holiday episode.”
“In a way, that will tell audiences that you can have a queer story and have it be a holiday episode. Not something edgy or sad, that their kids shouldn’t be seeing, but a story that can be as heartwarming as any of the other featured in this eight-episode season. She isn’t thinking about making a statement,” he continued. “She’s just doing this because it’s the right thing to do. It’s a group she’s including because why wouldn’t you? She wants the show to look like all of the stories of America, not just a select few. That really tells me she’s walking the walk and not just talking the talk.”
Watch Parton’s GLAAD Media Award acceptance speech in the video below, and tune in for the full GLAAD Media Awards ceremony this Monday, August 3 at 8/7c on Logo.