Country music legend Dolly Parton is on yet another high after performing at the halftime show for the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders football game on Thanksgiving. But the performance has garnered negative attention from an unlikely crowd: anti-vaxxers.
The 77-year-old cultural icon took the stage at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Thursday and sang some of her most popular songs, including “Jolene” and “9 to 5.” Parton, who recently released a new album titled Rockstar, received widespread praise across social media.
The moment, however, was quickly interrupted by anti-vaccine advocates who were quick to remind the public of Parton’s involvement in the COVID-19 shot.
As noted by one user on X, Parton back in 2020 donated $1 million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in order to aid in the development of the shot. Although the generous donation received massive applause, anti-vaxxers are now demanding Parton give the same amount of cash to those who claim to have been harmed by the jab.
The post, which has been viewed more than 326,000 times, specifically calls on the singer to provide funds to an organization known as React19.
The group describes itself as “a science-based nonprofit offering financial, physical, and emotional support for those suffering from long-term COVID-19 vaccine adverse events.” React19 is one of numerous groups and individuals that have challenged the constitutionality of the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), which is the only available avenue for those seeking compensation for injuries allegedly caused by the vaccine.
The open letter to Parton has since been making the rounds in conspiratorial circles, where some have accused Parton of “crimes against humanity.”
“@DolyParton is guilty of these crimes. [F]or being directly complicit in funding and marketing it,” one user frantically said. “Nothing can stop what is coming for those who perpetrated these crimes. NOBODY!”
Some even went as far as to accuse Parton of being responsible for killing countless people due to her charitable efforts.
“This is the one and only thing Dolly Parton should be remembered for,” another said. “The mass murder of American citizens.”
And while no medical intervention is without risk, studies have repeatedly shown that the COVID-19 vaccines are incredibly safe.
Parton’s popularity also led many to criticize the post. Several users noted that the anti-vaccine crowd has repeatedly attempted to blame the jab for a range of injuries and deaths that ultimately had nothing to do with the shot itself.
“All medicines can have side effects,” one user responded. “The fact you lot blame every single thing from suicides to accidents on vaccines is helping no one. Perhaps you should look in the mirror first.”
Some from the anti-vaccine crowd defended Parton as well by stating that her intentions were pure.
“Alright just in Dolly’s defense she does actual charity work for alot of things,” an X user replied. “She didn’t know this vaccine was going to be poison.”
Regardless, it’s unlikely Parton will in any way respond to the demands being made online. And it’s even more unlikely that Parton’s universal favorability will in any way be tarnished by such complaints.