During an appearance on “The Late Show,” former President Obama told host, Stephen Colbert, that it was a major screwup by his administration to not have honored Dolly Parton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“That’s a mistake. I’m shocked,” Obama stated after Colbert asked how the iconic singer and actress had not received the country’s highest civilian award.
“Looking back at your eight years, do you realize that’s the mistake you made?” Colbert asked with a laugh.
“Actually, that was a screwup,” Obama said. “I’m surprised. I think I assumed that she had already gotten one, and that was incorrect.”
“She deserves one. I’ll call Biden,” Obama said of the president-elect.
Obama was on “The Late Show” promoting his new memoir “A Promised Land.”
Obama, who was in office for eight years, bestowed the Medal of Freedom on dozens of public figures including Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan, and Barbra Streisand.
Parton, 74, has been honored with countless awards over her decades-long career. In 2005 she received the National Medal of Arts and in 2006 was celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors.
The world knows Dolly as a legendary singer, but in her home state of Tennessee, she is best known for being a philanthropist. She has been a long-time champion for causes that range from childhood literacy to environmental conservation.
This year she generously donated $1 million to fund research to help develop a cure for COVID-19.
She donates to and champions many causes including Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Save the Music Foundation, and the Boot Campaign, an organization that donates proceeds to military veterans who are dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder and physical injuries.
In 1988, she established the Dollywood Foundation. The foundation’s original goal was to help children in the region “achieve educational success.” In 1995 it morphed into the Imagination Library, a program that distributes books to children across the globe, free of charge, from birth until they begin their first year of school.
In 1989, Dolly offered a $500 scholarship to every student in Sevier County, Tennessee, who wanted to attend the nearby Hiwassee College. She hoped the effort would boost graduation rates in the area.
In 1991 she opened a bird sanctuary that made a safe haven for bald eagles that due to injuries could not be re-released into the wild.
Those just a few examples of how Dolly has given back again and again. If anyone should be recognized with the Presidential Medal of Honor it’s Parton and hopefully, Biden will rectify the situation.