Nightline correspondent David Wright on Thursday night desperately attempted to get actress and singer Dolly Parton to label Donald Trump as the face of 21st century sexism. Talking to the entertainer about her role in the iconic film 9 to 5, Wright played a clip of Jane Fonda deriding her character’s boss as a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”
Wright sneered, “The sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical portrayed so effectively in that movie by actor Dabney Coleman hasn’t exactly disappeared from the culture. We have a president of the United States who said the things on that bus.”
Accusations of sexual harassment and abuse certainly have surrounded Donald Trump. But they’ve also been plagued Bill Clinton for decades. Somehow, his name never came up as one of Wright's examples. Parton shut the journalist down, refusing to get political:
I'm not addressing that. I do not get into that. Of course I have my opinion about everybody and everything. But I learned a long time ago, keep your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business. I'm not in politics. I am an entertainer.
The ABC correspondent whined, “And yet you’re also a role model.”
Considering Wright’s concern over sexism, one wonders if he looks back with regret over a comment he made about Sarah Palin. In 2009, the journalist covered the 50th anniversary of Barbie. After mentioning some of the toy character’s various careers, Wright derided, “Some would argue she also ran for vice president in 2008.”
Sexist? Perhaps. But it was aimed at a conservative. So, by liberal standards, it's okay.
A partial transcript is below:
night of 3/1/18
[Discussing the movie 9 to 5.]
DAVID WRIGHT: That movie, one of the first to confront the issue of sexual harassment in the work place. The three stars had a surprise reunion at last year’s Emmy awards.
[Clip from the Emmys]
DOLLY PARTON: Personally, I have been waiting for a 9 to 5 reunion ever since we did the first one.
JANE FONDA: Back in 1980, that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
LILLY TOMLIN: And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.
PARTON: There are always prone to be political. And I had said up front, I am not being political. I don't do politics. I’m not getting into any of that. Because I have a lot of fans out there and I don’t want to offend anybody. And besides, I don't get into that. And so, if you are deciding you may want to ask me something more serious, don't. Because I am not going to answer it.
WRIGHT: Fair warning. Okay. I stay, I am not going to. Yeah, I — I might still ask.
PARTON: You can ask, but I might still tell you where to put it if I don’t like where you got it.
[Clip from 9 to 5.]
WRIGHT: The sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical portrayed so effectively in that movie by actor Dabney Coleman hasn’t exactly disappeared from the culture. We have a president of the United States who said the things on that bus.
PARTON: I'm not addressing that. I do not get into that. Of course I have my opinion about everybody and everything. But I learned a long time ago, keep your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business. I'm not in politics. I am an entertainer.
WRIGHT: And yet you’re also a role model.
PARTON: Yes, I am. That's why I don't talk about people.
WRIGHT: What advice do you have to share with young women coming of age now, facing these same kinds of issues?
PARTON: You have got to be really strong in a way that a man has been a strong in his world. You have got to realize you have your own strength.
WRIGHT: Does it depress you that this is such a big part of the national conversation when we thought we settled that back in 1980?
PARTON: We weren't going to settle that back then. But I think that is always going to be a part of our society. But at least now it has been brought to the front. And, I think that everyone that, ever been abused, in any way should come forward and should be, should be, listened to should be heard.