Dolly Parton Disappointed That ‘9 To 5’ Didn’t Do Lasting Good For Working Women

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Among the many talents attributed to Dolly Parton as an artist, her business acumen is never neglected.  The country music legend takes unending inspiration from her family roots to this day.  She credits her father’s example in teaching her how to drive a hard but fair bargain.  Dolly Parton keeps a close eye on the bottom line and yet, the 9 to 5 star maintains her empathetic ability to relate to the people behind the numbers.  Obviously, her business success means sustenance, not only to her own family for generations but also to thousands of families sharing her Tennessee roots, as Country Music Alley conveys in numerous profiles.

It’s a revelation to see Dolly Parton flourish in her first film foray in the 1980 classic.  In portraying Doralee Rhodes, 9 to 5’s most endearing star not only manages to put Dabney Coleman’s Mr. Hart in his place, but she also hogties her hapless supervisor.  Parton uses skills that only a farm girl knows.  Praise goes to Lily Tomlin’s Violet Newstead for devising the perfect Skinny and Sweet dosage to suit the boss.  Jane Fonda’s Judy Bently flawlessly coordinates the schedule, to allow her coworkers to pull off their plot.

As much as Dolly Parton cherishes her enduring friendship with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, she can’t say that 9 to 5 prompted genuine lasting change for women in the workplace, as confirmed in a Showbiz CheatSheet feature.  Women continue to make huge strides toward respect and equality in their professional goals, but, nonetheless, a long road lies ahead.

‘A lot of good’ is still not enough for Dolly Parton

Both personally and professionally, 9 to 5 enriched Dolly Parton’s life immensely.  Not surprisingly, she went on to star in Steel Magnolias, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Rhinestone.  The leading lady with no acting training was a natural in winning over every co-star.  Fittingly, even the movie’s infectious theme song strikes Dolly Parton during a lunch break.  Clicking her acrylic fingernails resembles the sound of typewriters to Dolly.  She put guitar chords to the melody later.  Dolly, Lily, and Jane still greet one another with a secret clicking fingernail code.

Sadly, a secret code for creating workplace equality is much harder to develop.  During her 2019 sit-down with ABC’s Robin Roberts for her special, Dolly Parton: Here She Comes Again, the all-around entertainer and entrepreneur expresses her regret that the deeper message of 9 to 5 never reached the real world.

Dolly Parton concedes that her debut film “did a lot of good” for its time on behalf of women.  On the other hand, she elaborates, “evidently, [it] didn’t do enough good” because the same issues in the workplace between women and men still exist today.  A 2018 CareerAddict survey bears Dolly out.  In addition to the issues of gender and pay equality, a livable minimum wage, affordable childcare, and medical benefits remain stumbling blocks for many women.

The “Just Because I’m a Woman” artist lets her music speak for her advocacy.  Dolly Parton affirms that she is “all about” equal pay and treatment of equal respect.  Still, “I don’t get out and have to preach it and I don’t march in the streets,” Parton attests, because, “I write about it.”

Dolly does her part to keep people working

All the folks in and surrounding Pigeon Forge, TN already applaud Dolly Parton as a prime employer in the area.  Only days ago, Today via Yahoo! News broke big news as ground broke on a half-billion (Yes, that’s billion with a B!) expansion of her Dollywood resort.

Great things take time, and this endeavor spans a 10 year period.  The HeartSong Lodge is planned to be just down the road from the beloved all Dollywood opened in 1986.  The described atmosphere assumes an ambiance of the “outdoors, indoors,” but with lots of amenities.  There will be adjacent balconies for the suites, communal fire pits, and several pools.  Spacious meeting areas allow for big family fun.  Dolly Parton takes the title of “Dreamer-in-chief” at her complex. Parton details that HeartSong is a perfect fit for the “campground resort” because “I write songs, and everything I’ve ever done started with a song.”  The timeless songwriter penned a 1994 song of the same name.

From its very inception, Dolly Parton imagined Dollywood with a twofold purpose.  “I wanted to give jobs to the people who live here,” the artist stresses, and for visitors “to have another reason to experience the beauty of the Smoky Mountains.  Longtime, loving fans walk away with an up-close and personal sense of the pandemic hero.  With the rescue of the vaccine, one of which Dolly, largely funded, fans likely will flock to Dollywood this summer and for the foreseeable future. The venue undertook renovations in 2013 and 2019.

Look out for Lily, Jane, and Dolly again

Nothing keeps three feisty ladies down, especially when a friendship of 40 years bonds them together.  Back in February, Country Music Alley confirmed that Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin intend to reform their fierce female trio, this time on Grace and Frankie on Netflix for a marvelous Season 7 finale of the series.

Like their fans, the gifted ladies yearned for a 9 to 5 sequel for years.  Despite their enthusiasm, no script sparked the fervor of the original.  The stars refused to do a bland rehash of the same storyline.  In the case of this finale, Lily Tomlin insists that the perfect role is designed to fit Dolly Parton alone.  Production is underway this summer, so for all fans know, the episode is a done deal.  Dolly Parton dreamed of doing this “crazy, wonderful show” with two of her dearest friends.

With the power of faith and friendship, anything is possible.  Dolly Parton has lifetimes of both those treasures, so stay tuned for the fun!

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