Yesterday, Times Magazine announced Elon Musk as the controversial recipient of this year’s renowned Person of the Year Award. A move by the famed magazine that was met with unsurprising backlash has led many social media users to retaliate against the choice, with many putting in their own two cents on just who they believe the coveted award should have been given to. In an onslaught of name throwing across the Twitterverse, it was American songwriter Dolly Parton whose name kept coming up as a better pick for the title.
Dolly Parton fans jumped to pointing her out as their preferred choice.
To make things clear, many users drew comparisons over the accomplishments of both Elon Musk and Dolly Parton.
While the famed country music icon is best known for pioneering the interface between country and pop music styles, it was her long-lasting humanitarian endeavors in philanthropic work that have garnished the 75-year-old worldwide attention. Her humble upbringing as the fourth of twelve children from a poor family has kept her well-grounded through her fame. Resonating the way she was raised, Dolly Parton has long been a champion for causes ranging from childhood literacy to environmental conservation. In 1998, Parton forged The Dollywood Foundation– a charity aimed to inspire children in the United States to achieve educational success while decreasing the dropout rate in high schools. In 1995, the program added the Imagination Library, a program that distributes free books to children across the globe.
Dolly Parton’s foundation is just the tip of the iceberg on her long road in humanitarian work. Her charitable acts throughout the ongoing pandemic once again garnished international attention. In November 2020, news broke that Parton donated a hefty sum to the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennesse. Honoring her $1 million dollar donation after her friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, a professor of surgery with the university, the Jolene singer’s contribution, which became known as the Dolly Parton Covid-19 Research Fund, helped pay for initial vaccine research. That same research led to the creation and testing of the vaccine, and the university is adamant that Parton’s funding was “critical” in early-stage research.
While her generous donation to the Covid vaccine research may have happened in 2020, the impact is still felt today. As the vaccine has reportedly saved hundreds of thousands of lives, Dolly Parton’s good deeds have definitely been noticed as Twitter users take to the internet to place criticism on Time for not picking someone like Dolly Parton.
While she didn’t receive the title, Dolly Parton was considered by Times. Parton was among the list of 100 people named by the magazine for their influence over the past 12 months. Honored by her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, the young singer wrote that Dolly has “diligently celebrated the queer community” and impacted millions through her philanthropy work. Luckily for people like Dolly Parton, a title doesn’t change anything, and the icon surely won’t lose any sleep over it.
While Dolly Parton’s backers pushed for the philanthropic artist to be recognized, much of the outrage focused on Elon Musk. Almost as soon as the news broke, angry Twitter users began an outcry of disagreement for the magazine’s choice in choosing the richest man in the world as this year’s recipient. Elon Musk, who undoubtedly had one of his biggest years yet, was met with plenty of criticism, as even the likes of politicians like former presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke out. Congresswoman Rep. Pramila Jayapal joined in the protest as well, further jabbing at the entrepreneur as someone who doesn’t pay his fair share of taxes.