"I’m ashamed of my sister for keeping her mouth shut,” Stella Parton, 69, said on the CountryLine "Our Stories" podcast last week. “She can run it when it is about something else, but speak up about injustice, Dolly Parton. Speak up. And speak out. Defend women, and don’t just do it in a little song. Speak up.”
“This is the first time I’ve really publicly called my sister out. But it’s high time that some of these older women speak up and speak out," she added. "They’ve all gone through all kinds of abuse in this industry so: speak up!”
“In the same way that Jane Fonda and people who have been in Hollywood all these years and never said a word, like Meryl Streep was all big buddies with Harvey Weinstein until he got busted," she said. "And then she kinda came around to say, ‘well, you know, that’s terrible’ … well, why didn’t you speak up when it came down? You knew it? All these women just didn’t speak up because they’re afraid they’re gonna mess with their fanbase. I think women would be more apt to respect you if you would speak up."
Stella added, “That’s why I was so happy to have people in our government like Michelle Obama, who has always been such an inspiration to the younger generation of women. I believe we finally have a chance here. We have an open window. Don’t let it be closed by keeping your mouth shut.”
A rep for Dolly Parton did not return Fox News' request for comment.
Last month, Dolly, 73, said she'd experienced sexual harassment in the country music business, but that it wasn't anything too serious to her because she'd been raised with six brothers. (She and Stella are two of 12 children.) She quipped, "I think people now see that we’re here, and women are very important, and they need us, just as we need the men. But if someone was getting real aggressive with me, I’d scream or throw something at them. But, of course, I’ve been hit on – I’ve probably hit on some people myself!”
Stella has been vocal about the issue of sexual harassment and misconduct within the country music community, especially after Dolly's longtime publicist, Nashville powerhouse rep Kirt Webster, was accused of drugging and assaulting singer and former client Austin Rick. Webster has denied the allegations.
"It's a good ol' boys town and it's always been a good ol' boys town," Stella fumed to Fox News in February 2018. "They hide behind their religion, all of them, a bunch of Southern Baptist hypocrites ... [These types of allegations] need to be talked about and people need to stop being silent on this issue."